Large Eddy Simulation of Dispersion in Urban Areas

EPA Grant Number: R828771C004
Subproject: this is subproject number 004 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant R828771
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: HSRC (2001) - Center for Hazardous Substances in Urban Environments
Center Director: Bouwer, Edward J.
Title: Large Eddy Simulation of Dispersion in Urban Areas
Investigators: Parlange, Marc , Helble, Joseph J. , Ondov, John M. , Meneveau, Charles
Current Investigators: Parlange, Marc , Meneveau, Charles
Institution: The Johns Hopkins University , University of Connecticut , University of Maryland - College Park
Current Institution: The Johns Hopkins University
EPA Project Officer: Klieforth, Barbara I
Project Period: October 1, 2001 through September 30, 2007
Project Amount: Refer to main center abstract for funding details.
RFA: Hazardous Substance Research Centers - HSRC (2001) Recipients Lists
Research Category: Hazardous Waste/Remediation , Land and Waste Management


The dispersion of aerosols from hazardous substance incinerators has long been a concern in urban environments. The transport of aerosols in this environment is extremely complex due to the spatial variability of surface heat fluxes and topography, land-water contrasts, drainage flows at night and mesoscale weather patterns. Large Eddy Simulation (LES) is becoming a reliable modern computational method to simulate turbulence in the atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) over complex terrain.


We will expand the JHU - LES code to include Lagrangian calculations of atmospheric dispersion of particles released from the stack. We will also update the code to include the representation of structures (e.g. buildings) so that the turbulent flow and transport in the ABL over Baltimore will be more realistically simulated. Numerical simulations will employ new-generation sub-grid scale models that are particularly well suited to capture unresolved small-scale turbulence physics in complex environments in which turbulence deviates from the classical assumptions of isotropic inertial-range behavior. The new generation models can also deal effectively with the land-water contrast in the Baltimore harbor. The high-resolution LES will be conducted to identify the role of urban heterogeneity on regional atmospheric dynamics (i.e. wind fields and boundary layer height) as well as aerosol distributions with height. The JHU elastic lidar will be used in an a posteriori mode to assess the performance of the LES code to describe the aerosol particle distributions with height. Intensive field observations will be undertaken during January 2002, where the Lidar will be operated and micrometeorological measurements as well as in situ aerosol measurements at the stack and downstream will be taken by teams from the Universities of Connecticut and Maryland. Aerosol samples will be collected by deposition on a cascade impactor. Analysis of particle chemical composition on a particle-by-particle basis will be obtained by applying surface science methods including Auger spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and energy dispersive x-ray analysis (SEM-EDAX), and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS). The purpose of this project is to develop detailed understanding of the distribution functions associated with particulate matter emissions from incineration. These results will permit the development of more quantitative risk assessment for incinerator emissions, and can be used to design and implement control strategies for the most harmful fractions of the distribution.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this subproject: View all 23 publications for this subprojectView all 108 publications for this center

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this subproject: View all 3 journal articles for this subprojectView all 20 journal articles for this center

Supplemental Keywords:

environmental engineering, air pollution, metal transport., RFA, Health, Scientific Discipline, PHYSICAL ASPECTS, Air, particulate matter, Health Risk Assessment, Risk Assessments, Physical Processes, Ecology and Ecosystems, ambient aerosol, ambient air quality, urban air, air toxics, epidemiology, human health effects, contaminant transport, air quality models, airborne particulate matter, contaminant cycling, exposure, air pollution, air sampling, environmental health effects, large eddy simulations, hazardous waste incinerators, human exposure, respiratory impact, airborne aerosols, aerosol composition, ambient particle health effects, PM, urban environment, aersol particles, aerosols, human health risk, hazardous substance contamination

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2002 Progress Report
  • 2003 Progress Report
  • 2004 Progress Report
  • 2005 Progress Report
  • 2006
  • Final Report

  • Main Center Abstract and Reports:

    R828771    HSRC (2001) - Center for Hazardous Substances in Urban Environments

    Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
    R828771C001 Co-Contaminant Effects on Risk Assessment and Remediation Activities Involving Urban Sediments and Soils: Phase II
    R828771C002 The Fate and Potential Bioavailability of Airborne Urban Contaminants
    R828771C003 Geochemistry, Biochemistry, and Surface/Groundwater Interactions for As, Cr, Ni, Zn, and Cd with Applications to Contaminated Waterfronts
    R828771C004 Large Eddy Simulation of Dispersion in Urban Areas
    R828771C005 Speciation of chromium in environmental media using capillary electrophoresis with multiple wavlength UV/visible detection
    R828771C006 Zero-Valent Metal Treatment of Halogenated Vapor-Phase Contaminants in SVE Offgas
    R828771C007 The Center for Hazardous Substances in Urban Environments (CHSUE) Outreach Program
    R828771C008 New Jersey Institute of Technology Outreach Program for EPA Region II
    R828771C009 Urban Environmental Issues: Hartford Technology Transfer and Outreach
    R828771C010 University of Maryland Outreach Component
    R828771C011 Environmental Assessment and GIS System Development of Brownfield Sites in Baltimore
    R828771C012 Solubilization of Particulate-Bound Ni(II) and Zn(II)
    R828771C013 Seasonal Controls of Arsenic Transport Across the Groundwater-Surface Water Interface at a Closed Landfill Site
    R828771C014 Research Needs in the EPA Regions Covered by the Center for Hazardous Substances in Urban Environments
    R828771C015 Transport of Hazardous Substances Between Brownfields and the Surrounding Urban Atmosphere