Comparison of Wind-Tunnel and Water-Channel Simulations of Plume Dispersion through a Large Array of Obstacles with a Scaled Field Experiment


  1. Yee, E.
  2. Gailis, R.M.
  3. Hill, A.
  4. Hilderman, T.
  5. Kiel, D.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Suffield, Ralston ALTA (CAN)
We report on measurements of the near-field dispersion of contaminant plumes in a large array of building-like obstacles at three scales; namely, at full-scale in a field experiment, at 1:50 scale in a wind-tunnel simulation, and at 1:205 scale in a water-channel simulation. Plume concentration statistics extracted from the physical modelling in the wind-tunnel and water-channel simulations are compared to those obtained from a field experiment. The modification of the detailed structure of the plume as it interacts with the obstacles is investigated. To this purpose, measurements of the evolution of the mean concentration, concentration fluctuation intensity, concentration probability density function, and integral time scale of concentration fluctuations in the array plume obtained from the field experiment and the scaled wind-tunnel and water-channel experiments are reported and compared, as well as measurements of upwind and within-array velocity spectra. Generally, the wind-tunnel and water-channel results on the modification of the detailed plume structure by the obstacles were qualitatively similar to those observed in the field experiments. However, with the appropriate scaling, the water-channel simulations were able to reproduce quantitatively the results of the full-scale field experiments better than the wind-tunnel simulations.
Concentration statistics;Obstacle array;Plume dispersion;Wind tunnel;Water channel;Atmospheric dispersion models;Plume dispersion
Report Number
DRDC-SUFFIELD-SL-2006-026 — Scientific Literature
Date of publication
11 Apr 2006
Number of Pages
Reprinted from
Boundary-Layer Meteorol, no 121, 2006, p 389-432
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