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C. S. B. Grimmond and T. R. Oke

Abstract

Previous measurements of urban energy balances have been restricted to a small number of cities. This paper presents directly measured energy balance fluxes for suburban areas in four cities within the United States: Tucson, Sacramento, Chicago, and Los Angeles. They represent a range of synoptic regimes and surface morphologies (built and vegetative). Ensemble diurnal patterns and ratios of fluxes for clear, cloudy, and all sky conditions are presented. Consideration is given to both the mean and the variability of the fluxes. As expected, the magnitudes of the fluxes vary between cities; however, in general, the diurnal trends of flux partitioning are similar in terms of the timing of the peaks and changes in sign. Chicago is slightly different due to frequent wetting by rain. In the other cities, it seems that daytime Bowen ratios are inversely related to the area irrigated.

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C. S. B. Grimmond and T. R. Oke

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A linked set of simple equations specifically designed to calculate heat fluxes for the urban environment is presented. This local-scale urban meteorological parameterization scheme (LUMPS), which has similarities to the hybrid plume dispersion model (HPDM) scheme, requires only standard meteorological observations and basic knowledge of surface cover. LUMPS is driven by net all-wave radiation. Heat storage by the urban fabric is parameterized from net all-wave radiation and surface cover information using the objective hysteresis model (OHM). The turbulent sensible and latent heat fluxes are calculated using the available energy and are partitioned using the approach of de Bruin and Holtslag, and Holtslag and van Ulden. A new scheme to define the Holtslag and van Ulden α and β parameters for urban environments is presented; α is empirically related to the plan fraction of the surface that is vegetated or irrigated, and a new urban value of β captures the observed delay in reversal of the sign of the sensible heat flux in the evening. LUMPS is evaluated using field observations collected in seven North American cities (Mexico City, Mexico; Miami, Florida; Tucson, Arizona; Los Angeles and Sacramento, California; Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; and Chicago, Illinois). Performance is shown to be better than that for the standard HPDM preprocessor scheme. Most improvement derives from the inclusion of the OHM for the storage heat flux and the revised β coefficient. The scheme is expected to have broad utility in models used to calculate air pollution dispersion and the mixing depths of urban areas or to provide surface forcing for mesoscale models of urban regions.

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C. S. B. Grimmond and T. R. Oke
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C. S. B. Grimmond and H. A. Cleugh

Abstract

A simple scheme is presented to calculate Obukhov stability lengths L for suburban areas when measurements of sensible heat flux Qh or temperature gradients are not available. The scheme replaces Qv with χQ *, where Q * is net all-wave radiation, and χ = QH/Q *, which is based on data collected in North American cities. The results suggest that the simple two-part model with either a variable or fixed value of χ for daytime works satisfactorily.

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M. J. Best and C. S. B. Grimmond

Abstract

The First International Urban Land Surface Model Comparison was designed to identify three aspects of the urban surface–atmosphere interactions: 1) the dominant physical processes, 2) the level of complexity required to model these, and 3) the parameter requirements for such a model. Offline simulations from 32 land surface schemes, with varying complexity, contributed to the comparison. Model results were analyzed within a framework of physical classifications and over four stages. The results show that the following are important urban processes: i) multiple reflections of shortwave radiation within street canyons; ii) reduction in the amount of visible sky from within the canyon, which impacts the net longwave radiation; iii) the contrast in surface temperatures between building roofs and street canyons; and iv) evaporation from vegetation. Models that use an appropriate bulk albedo based on multiple solar reflections, represent building roof surfaces separately from street canyons and include a representation of vegetation demonstrate more skill, but require parameter information on the albedo, height of the buildings relative to the width of the streets (height to width ratio), the fraction of building roofs compared to street canyons from a plan view (plan area fraction), and the fraction of the surface that is vegetated. These results, while based on a single site and less than 18 months of data, have implications for the future design of urban land surface models, the data that need to be measured in urban observational campaigns, and what needs to be included in initiatives for regional and global parameter databases.

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Thomas Loridan and C. S. B. Grimmond

Abstract

A better understanding of links between the properties of the urban environment and the exchange to the atmosphere is central to a wide range of applications. The numerous measurements of surface energy balance data in urban areas enable intercomparison of observed fluxes from distinct environments. This study analyzes a large database in two new ways. First, instead of normalizing fluxes using net all-wave radiation only the incoming radiative fluxes are used, to remove the surface attributes from the denominator. Second, because data are now available year-round, indices are developed to characterize the fraction of the surface (built; vegetation) actively engaged in energy exchanges. These account for shading patterns within city streets and seasonal changes in vegetation phenology; their impact on the partitioning of the incoming radiation is analyzed. Data from 19 sites in North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia (including 6-yr-long observation campaigns) are used to derive generalized surface–flux relations. The midday-period outgoing radiative fraction decreases with an increasing total active surface index, the stored energy fraction increases with an active built index, and the latent heat fraction increases with an active vegetated index. Parameterizations of these energy exchange ratios as a function of the surface indices [i.e., the Flux Ratio–Active Index Surface Exchange (FRAISE) scheme] are developed. These are used to define four urban zones that characterize energy partitioning on the basis of their active surface indices. An independent evaluation of FRAISE, using three additional sites from the Basel Urban Boundary Layer Experiment (BUBBLE), yields accurate predictions of the midday flux partitioning at each location.

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J. A. Voogt and C. S. B. Grimmond

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Sensible heat fluxes over a light industrial area in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, are analyzed from observed tower fluxes and modeled using a bulk heat transfer approach. The bulk transfer models are initialized using remotely sensed surface temperatures from both airborne and ground-based observing platforms. The remotely sensed surface temperature, in conjunction with a surface database, is used to create area-weighted temperature estimates representative of the complete urban surface. Sensitivity analyses of the various surface temperature estimates are performed. Estimates of kB −1, the ratio of roughness length of momentum to heat, for this area are in general agreement with theoretical estimates for bluff-rough surfaces and are larger than those documented for vegetated and agricultural surfaces. Back-calculated values do vary depending on the method used to determine surface temperature but vary more with the time of day. Empirical relations derived previously for vegetated surfaces are shown to agree well with the results for a dry urban environment. Approaches based on microscale variability in temperature fields are problematic.

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C. S. B. Grimmond and T. R. Oke

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Several methods to determine the aerodynamic characteristics of a site through analysis of its surface form (morphometry) are considered in relation to cities. The measures discussed include zero-plane displacement length (z d), roughness length (z 0), depth of the roughness sublayer, and aerodynamic conductance. A sensitivity analysis is conducted on seven formulas to estimate z d and nine to estimate z 0, covering a wide range of probable urban roughness densities. Geographic information systems developed for 11 sites in 7 North American cities are used to characterize their morphometry—the height, shape, three-dimensional area, and spatial distribution of their roughness elements (buildings and trees). Most of the sites are in residential suburbs, but one is industrial and two are near city centers. This descriptive survey of urban geometric form is used, together with the morphometric formulas, to derive the apparent aerodynamic characteristics of the sites. The resulting estimates of z d and z 0 are compared with values obtained from analysis of wind and turbulence observations. The latter are obtained from a survey of approximately 60 field studies and 14 laboratory studies of real and scale model cities. Despite the comprehensive nature of the survey, very few studies are found to be acceptable and their scatter is large, hence they do not provide a standard against which to test the morphometric algorithms. Further, the data show only weak relations between measured z d and z 0 and roughness density. The relative merits of morphometric and wind-based estimates of aerodynamic parameters are discussed. Recommendations are made concerning the choice of method to estimate z d and z 0 in urban areas and their most likely magnitude.

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M. J. Best and C. S. B. Grimmond

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Inclusion of vegetation is critical for urban land surface models (ULSM) to represent reasonably the turbulent sensible and latent heat flux densities in an urban environment. Here the Joint UK Land Environment Simulator (JULES), a ULSM, is used to simulate the Bowen ratio at a number of urban and rural sites with vegetation cover varying between 1% and 98%. The results show that JULES is able to represent the observed Bowen ratios, but only when the additional anthropogenic water supplied into the urban ecosystem is considered. The impact of the external water use (e.g., through irrigation or street cleaning) on the surface energy flux partitioning can be as substantial as that of the anthropogenic heat flux on the sensible and latent heat fluxes. The Bowen ratio varies from 1 to 2 when the plan area vegetation fraction is between 30% and 70%. However, when the vegetation fraction is less than 20%, the Bowen ratios increase substantially (2–10) and have greater sensitivity to assumptions about external water use. As there are few long-term observational sites with vegetation cover less than 30%, there is a clear need for more measurement studies in such environments.

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C. S. B. Grimmond and T. R. Oke

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The flux density of sensible heat to or from storage in the physical mass of the city is determined for seven cities (Chicago, Illinois; Los Angeles, California; Mexico City, Distrito Federal; Miami, Florida; Sacramento, California; Tucson, Arizona; and Vancouver, British Columbia) in North America across a 30° latitudinal range. These cities have a variety of synoptic-scale climates and surface cover and structural morphologies. In all cases the “measured” storage heat flux is determined as the energy balance residual from direct observations of net all-wave radiation, and sensible and latent heat fluxes conducted using the same radiometer and eddy correlation techniques. Databases describing the surface characteristics around each site are developed from analysis of aerial photography and field surveys. Results indicate that storage heat flux is a significant component of the surface energy balance at all sites and is greatest at downtown and light industrial sites. Hysteresis behavior, of varying degrees, is seen at all locations. A simple objective hysteresis model (OHM), which calculates storage heat flux as a function of net all-wave radiation and the surface properties of the site, is found to perform well in the mean for most cases, with the notable exception of Tucson; but considerable scatter is observed at some sites. Some of this is attributed to the moisture, wind, and synoptic controls at each of the sites, and to hour-to-hour variability in the convective fluxes that the OHM does not simulate. Averaging over 2 to 3 h may be a more appropriate way to use the model. Caution should be used when employing the OHM in windy environments.

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