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Julia E. Flaherty, Brian Lamb, K. Jerry Allwine, and Eugene Allwine


An atmospheric tracer dispersion study known as Joint Urban 2003 was conducted in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, during July of 2003. As part of this field program, vertical concentration profiles were measured at approximately 1 km from the downtown ground-level tracer gas release locations. These profiles showed that the urban landscape was very effective in mixing the plume vertically. In general, the lowest concentration measured along the profile was within 50% of the highest concentration in any given 5-min measurement period. The general slope of the concentration profiles was bounded by a Gaussian distribution with Briggs’s urban equations (stability classes D and E/F) for vertical dispersion. However, measured concentration maxima occurred at levels above the surface, which would not be predicted by Gaussian formulations. Variations in tracer concentration observed in the time series between different release periods were related to changes in wind direction as opposed to changes in turbulence. This was demonstrated using data from mobile analyzers that captured the width of the plume by traveling east to west along nearby streets. These mobile-van-analyzer data were also used to compute plume widths. Plume widths increased for wind directions at larger angles to the street grid, and a simple model comprising adjusted open-country dispersion coefficients and a street channeling component, were used to describe the measured widths. This dispersion dataset is a valuable asset not only for developing advanced tools for emergency-response situations in the event of a toxic release but also for refining air-quality models.

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Cheryl Klipp


A variety of atmospheric boundary layer parameters are examined as a function of wind direction in both urban and suburban settings in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, derived from measurements during the Joint Urban 2003 field campaign. Heterogeneous surface characteristics result in significant differences in upwind fetch and, therefore, statistically significant differences in measured values, even for small changes in wind direction. Taller upwind obstructions yield larger measured values of drag coefficient and turbulence intensity than do shorter upwind obstructions regardless of whether the obstruction is a building or a tree. The fraction of turbulent kinetic energy going into streamwise, cross-stream, and vertical variances differs depending on the upwind fetch, and reduced cross-stream values may indicate locations of persistent wind stream convergence. In addition, a quadrant analysis of burst/sweep behavior near the surface is examined as a function of wind direction in urban and suburban environments.

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