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Simulation of particle resuspension by wind in an urban system

Banari, A.; Hertel, D.; Schlink, U.; Hampel, U.; Lecrivain, G.


Air pollution caused by particle resuspension is a growing public health problem in many cities. Pollen and anthropogenic pollutants, such as heavy metal particles and micro-plastics debris, settle onto urban ground surfaces. Prolonged urban heat waves are propitious for heavy and continuous deposition. Particles in the submillimeter size range eventually resuspend by urban winds within seconds, may be inhaled, cause allergic reactions and escape the city's boundaries. Here, the resuspension and subsequent dispersion of generic particles ranging from 10 to 100 μm in size are simulated. The city area “Bayerischer Bahnhof” in Leipzig, Germany, has been chosen as a practical example. To track the resuspended particles, a Lagrangian model is used. Taking advantage of graphics processing unit, turbulent flow simulations at different wind speeds are performed in almost real time. The results show that particle resuspension starts, when the inlet wind speed beyond the canopy, that is at a height of 40 m, exceeds 7 m/s. At wind speed beyond 14 m/s, resuspension occurs in almost all city parts. At moderate wind speed, high-risk areas are identified. The effect of green infrastructures on both the flow field and particle resuspension is also investigated.

Keywords: particle resuspension; Bayerischer Bahnhof; public health


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