Application of the Cell Perturbation Method to Large-Eddy Simulations of a Real Urban Area

Gwang-Jin Lee Department of Mathematics, Yonsei University, Seoul, South Korea

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Domingo Muñoz-Esparza National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado

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Chaeyeon Yi Department of Environmental Science, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea

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Hi Jun Choe Department of Mathematics, Yonsei University, Seoul, South Korea

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Abstract

With the continuous increase in computing capabilities, large-eddy simulation (LES) has recently gained popularity in applications related to flow, turbulence, and dispersion in the urban atmospheric boundary layer (ABL). Herein, we perform high-resolution building-scale LES over the Seoul, South Korea, city area to investigate the impact of inflow turbulence on the resulting turbulent flow field in the urban ABL. To that end, LES using the cell perturbation method for inflow turbulence generation is compared to a case where no turbulence fluctuations in the incoming ABL are present (unperturbed case). Validation of the model results using wind speed and wind direction observations at 3 m above ground level reveals minimal differences irrespective of the presence of incoming ABL turbulence. This is due to the high density of building structures present at the surface level that create shear instabilities in the flow field and therefore induce local turbulence production. In the unperturbed case, turbulent fluctuations are found to slowly propagate in the vertical direction with increasing fetch from the inflow boundaries, creating an internal boundary layer that separates the turbulent region near the building structures and the nonturbulent flow aloft that occupies the rest of the ABL. Analysis of turbulence quantities including energy spectra, velocity correlations, and passive scalar fluxes reveals significant underpredictions that rapidly grow with increasing height within the ABL. These results demonstrate the need for realistic inflow turbulence in building-resolving LES modeling to ensure proper interactions within the ABL.

© 2019 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Gwang-Jin Lee, gwangjin@yonsei.ac.kr

Abstract

With the continuous increase in computing capabilities, large-eddy simulation (LES) has recently gained popularity in applications related to flow, turbulence, and dispersion in the urban atmospheric boundary layer (ABL). Herein, we perform high-resolution building-scale LES over the Seoul, South Korea, city area to investigate the impact of inflow turbulence on the resulting turbulent flow field in the urban ABL. To that end, LES using the cell perturbation method for inflow turbulence generation is compared to a case where no turbulence fluctuations in the incoming ABL are present (unperturbed case). Validation of the model results using wind speed and wind direction observations at 3 m above ground level reveals minimal differences irrespective of the presence of incoming ABL turbulence. This is due to the high density of building structures present at the surface level that create shear instabilities in the flow field and therefore induce local turbulence production. In the unperturbed case, turbulent fluctuations are found to slowly propagate in the vertical direction with increasing fetch from the inflow boundaries, creating an internal boundary layer that separates the turbulent region near the building structures and the nonturbulent flow aloft that occupies the rest of the ABL. Analysis of turbulence quantities including energy spectra, velocity correlations, and passive scalar fluxes reveals significant underpredictions that rapidly grow with increasing height within the ABL. These results demonstrate the need for realistic inflow turbulence in building-resolving LES modeling to ensure proper interactions within the ABL.

© 2019 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Gwang-Jin Lee, gwangjin@yonsei.ac.kr
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