Understanding turbulent exchange over urban areas in highly complex terrain

The research project ‘Understanding turbulent exchange over urban areas in highly complex
terrain’ aims to improve current understanding of weather and climate in cities located in mountainous regions. Turbulent exchange determines how emissions at the surface (e.g. carbon dioxide released by traffic) mix with the atmosphere. Thus, correctly understanding such processes has important implications for human health; not only in terms of air quality, but also for weather forecasting and prediction of heat-waves, cold-spells or floods.
The challenges of measuring and modelling complex environments, however, mean they have been little studied. Instead, most numerical models have been developed to represent much simpler environments: landscapes that are flat, uniform and originally without cities. Here, specialised measurement techniques will be used to provide detailed observational datasets with which to compare model output in order to assess whether such complex settings can be reliably simulated. Numerical simulations will then be used to examine the mechanisms by which the city of Innsbruck and the topography of the Inn Valley combine to influence turbulent exchange processes. 
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Project Duration: 
12/01/2017 to 11/30/2019