Thermal Stratification Effects on Turbulence and Dispersion in Internal and External Boundary Layers
A synthetic-turbulence and temperature-fluctuation-generation method is developed and embedded in large-eddy simulations to investigate the effects of weak stable stratification (i.e. Richardson number R i ≤1 ) on turbulence and dispersion following a simulated rural-to-urban transition. The modelling approach is validated by comparing predictions of mean velocity, turbulent stresses, and point-source dispersion against data from a wind-tunnel experiment that simulates a stable atmospheric boundary layer (R i =0.21 ) approaching a regular array of uniform rectangular blocks. The depth of the internal boundary layer (IBL) that develops from the leading edge of the block array is determined using the wall-normal turbulent stress method proposed by Sessa et al. (J Wind Eng Ind Aerodyn 182:189-291, 2018). This shows that the depth and growth rate of the IBL are sensitive to the thermal stability and the turbulence kinetic energy (TKE) prescribed at the inlet, such that the IBL depth reduces as the TKE of the inflow is reduced while maintaining the same Ri, or as the Ri is increased while maintaining the same inflow TKE. When a ground level line source is introduced it is found that increasing Ri evidently reduces the vertical scalar fluxes at the canopy height, while increasing the mean concentrations within the streets. Furthermore, as with IBL development it is found that for a given value of Ri the effect of stratification becomes more pronounced as the inflow level of TKE is reduced, affecting scalar fluxes within and above the canopy, and volume-averaged mean concentrations within the streets.