Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Where Does Air Pollution Gather in the Urban Environment?

Town roads Mystic urban area : Towns of Stonin...
Town roads Mystic urban area : Towns of Stonington-Groton, Connecticut / prepared by the Connecticut State Highway Department ; in cooperation with the Bureau of Public Roads, Department of Commerce 1956 (Photo credit: uconnlibrariesmagic)

The geometry of inertial particle mixing in urban flows, from deterministic and random displacement models (Abstract, Wenbo Tang, Brent Knutson, Alex Mahalov, and Reneta Dimitrova, Physics of Fluids, American Institute of Physics , Jun. 25, 2012)

Also discussed here: Wind Concentrates Pollutants With Unexpected Order in an Urban Environment(ScienceDaily, Aug. 24, 2012)

Today an interesting paper is reviewed that describes a physical-mathematical urban wind model that showed how the shape and form of the urban structure affect where pollutants tend to accumulate or gather. This is doubly important – first, as a clue on where to locate pollution monitors and, second, where to expect higher levels of pollutants with health impacts. The implications for urban design and planning are obvious.  

Key Quotes:
pollutant particles, rather than scattering randomly, prefer to accumulate in specific regions of the urban environment and even form coherent structures”

 “researchers were able to verify this by using a new mathematical formula, the first of its kind, to simulate the long-term random motion of pollutant particles as would be found in the real world”

“The results can be used to generate maps of well and poorly mixed regions and highlight urban areas that are most susceptible to high concentrations of pollutants”
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