Aerodynamic parameters of regular arrays of rectangular blocks with various geometries

Aya Hagishima, Jun Tanimoto, Koji Nagayama, Sho Meno

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167 Citations (Scopus)


The aerodynamic effects of various configurations of an urban array were investigated in a wind-tunnel experiment. Three aerodynamic parameters characterising arrays - the drag coefficient (Cd), roughness length (zo) and displacement height (d) - are used for analysis. Cd is based on the direct measurement of the total surface shear using a floating element, and the other two parameters are estimated by logarithmic fitting of the measured wind profile and predetermined total drag force. The configurations of 63 arrays used for measurement were designed to estimate the effects of layout, wind direction and the height variability of the blocks on these parameters for various roughness packing densities. The results are summarised as follows: (1) The estimated Cd and zo of the staggered arrays peak against the plan area index (λp) and frontal area index (λf), in contrast with values for the square arrays, which are less sensitive to λp and λf. In addition, the square arrays with a wind direction of 45° have a considerably larger Cd, and the wind direction increases zo/H by up to a factor of 2. (2) The effect of the non-uniformity of roughness height on zo is more remarkable when λf exceeds 20%, and the discrepancy in zo is particularly remarkable and exceeds 200%. (3) The effect of the layout of tall blocks on Cd is stronger than that of short blocks. These results indicate that the effects of both wind direction and the non-uniformity of the heights of buildings on urban aerodynamic parameters vary greatly with λp and λf; hence, these effects should be taken into account by considering the roughness packing density.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-337
Number of pages23
JournalBoundary-Layer Meteorology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


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