Articles | Volume 11, issue 1
23 Oct 2014
 | 23 Oct 2014

Large-eddy simulation of pollutant dispersion from a ground-level area source over urban street canyons with irreversible chemical reactions

T. Z. Du, C.-H. Liu, and Y. B. Zhao

Abstract. In this study, the dispersion of chemically reactive pollutants is calculated by large-eddy simulation (LES) in a neutrally stratified urban canopy layer (UCL) over urban areas. As a pilot attempt, idealized street canyons of unity building-height-to-street-width (aspect) ratio are used. Nitric oxide (NO) is emitted from the ground surface of the first street canyon into the domain doped with ozone (O3). In the absence of ultraviolet radiation, this irreversible chemistry produces nitrogen dioxide (NO2), developing a reactive plume over the rough urban surface. A range of timescales of turbulence and chemistry are utilized to examine the mechanism of turbulent mixing and chemical reactions in the UCL. The Damköhler number (Da) and the reaction rate (r) are analyzed along the vertical direction on the plane normal to the prevailing flow at 10 m after the source. The maximum reaction rate peaks at an elevation where Damköhler number Da is equal or close to unity. Hence, comparable timescales of turbulence and reaction could enhance the chemical reactions in the plume.