Performance assessment of Large Eddy Simulation (LES) for modeling dispersion in an urban street canyon with tree planting

P. Moonen, C.B. Gromke, V. Dorer

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The potential of a Large Eddy Simulation (LES) model to reliably predict near-field pollutant dispersion is assessed. To that extent, detailed time-resolved numerical simulations of coupled flow and dispersion are conducted for a street canyon with tree planting. Different crown porosities are considered. The model performance is assessed in several steps, ranging from a qualitative comparison to measured concentrations, over statistical data analysis by means of scatter plots and box plots, up to the calculation of objective validation metrics. The extensive validation effort highlights and quantifies notable features and shortcomings of the model, which would otherwise remain unnoticed. The model performance is found to be spatially non-uniform. Closer agreement with measurement data is achieved near the canyon ends than for the central part of the canyon, and typical model acceptance criteria are satisfied more easily for the leeward than for the windward canyon wall. This demonstrates the need for rigorous model evaluation. Only quality-assured models can be used with confidence to support assessment, planning and implementation of pollutant mitigation strategies. Keywords : Computational fluid dynamics (CFD); Large eddy simulation (LES); Wind tunnel measurements; Dispersion; Statistical analysis; Validation metrics; Model performance
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-76
Number of pages11
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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