Please wait a minute...
Journal of Arid Land  2014, Vol. 6 Issue (1): 69-79    DOI: 10.1007/s40333-013-0192-9
Research Articles     
Computational fluid dynamics evaluation of the effect of different city designs on the wind environment of a downwind natural heritage site
BenLi LIU*, JianJun QU, QingHe NIU, JunZhan WANG, KeCun ZHANG
Dunhuang Gobi & Desert Ecological and Environmental Research Station, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China
Download:   PDF(3862KB)
Export: BibTeX | EndNote (RIS)      

Abstract  Disturbance in wind regime and sand erosion deposition balance may lead to burial and eventual vanishing of a site. This study conducted 3D computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations to evaluate the effect of a proposed city design on the wind environment of the Crescent Spring, a downwind natural heritage site located in Dunhuang, Northwestern China. Satellite terrain data from the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) Digital Elevation Model (DEM) were used to construct the solid surface model. Steady-state Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes equations (RANS) with shear stress transport (SST) k-ω turbulence model were then applied to solve the flow field problems. Land-use changes were modeled implicitly by dividing the underlying surface into different areas and by applying corresponding aerodynamic roughness lengths. Simulations were performed by using cases with different city areas and building heights. Results show that the selected model could capture the surface roughness changes and could adjust wind profile over a large area. Wind profiles varied over the greenfield to the north and over the Gobi land to the east of the spring. Therefore, different wind speed reduction effects were observed from various city construction scenarios. The current city design would lead to about 2 m/s of wind speed reduction at the downwind city edge and about 1 m/s of wind speed reduction at the north of the spring at 35-m height. Reducing the city height in the north greenfield area could efficiently eliminate the negative effects of wind spee. By contrast, restricting the city area worked better in the eastern Gobi area compared with other parts of the study area. Wind speed reduction in areas near the spring could be limited to 0.1 m/s by combining these two abatement strategies. The CFD method could be applied to simulate the wind environment affected by other land-use changes over a large terrain.

Key wordsnumerical simulation      optimal irrigation regime      secondary salinization      water and salt dynamics     
Received: 24 November 2012      Published: 10 February 2014

This work was supported by the National Basic Research Pro-gram of China (2012CB026105), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41201003, 41071009), and the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (2012M52819).

Corresponding Authors: BenLi LIU   
Cite this article:

BenLi LIU, JianJun QU, QingHe NIU, JunZhan WANG, KeCun ZHANG. Computational fluid dynamics evaluation of the effect of different city designs on the wind environment of a downwind natural heritage site. Journal of Arid Land, 2014, 6(1): 69-79.

URL:     OR

Abdi D, Bitsuamlak G T. 2010. Estimation of Surface Roughness using CFD Simulation. The Fifth International Symposium on Compu¬ta¬tional Wind Engineering. Chapel Hill: International Association for Wind Engineering, 1–8.

ANSYS Flent Theory Guide. 2009. Shear-Stress Transport (SST) k-ω model. [2012–11–28]. html/th/node67.htm.

Bitsuamlak G T, Stathopoulos T, Bédard C, et al. 2004. Numerical evaluation of wind flow over complex terrain: review. Journal of Aerospace Engineering, 17(4): 135–145.

Blocken B, Stathopoulos T, Carmeliet J. 2007a. CFD simulation of the atmospheric boundary layer: wall function problems. Atmospheric Environment, 41: 238–252.

Blocken B, Carmeliet J, Stathopoulos T. 2007b. CFD evaluation of wind speed conditions in passages between parallel buildings—effect of wall-function roughness modifications for the atmospheric boundary layer flow. Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerody¬na¬mics, 95(9–11): 941–962.

Blocken B, Janssen W D, von Hooff T. 2012. CFD simulation for pedestrian wind comfort and wind safety in urban areas: general decision framework and case study for the Eindhoven University campus. Environmental Modelling & Software, 30: 15–34.

Dong J, Bian Z. 2004. Proposal for the protection of natural heritage of Singing Sand Mountain and Crescent Moon Spring in Dunhuang City, China. Journal of Natural Resources, 19(5): 561–567.

Dong Z, Luo W, Qian G, et al. 2007. A wind tunnel simulation of the mean velocity fields behind upright porous fences. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 146(1–2): 82–93.

Garcia M J. 2006. Low altitude wind simulation over Mount Saint Helens using NASA SRTM Digital Terrain Model. Third International Symposium on 3D Data Processing, Visualization, and Transmission. NC: Chapel Hill, 535–542.

Gromke C, Buccolieri R, Sabatino S D, et al. 2008. Dispersion study in a street canyon with tree planting by means of wind tunnel and numerical investigations—evaluation of CFD data with experimental data. Atmospheric Environment, 42: 8640–8650.

Guilloteau E, Mestayer P G. 2000. Numerical simulations of the urban roughness sub-layer: a first attempt. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 65(1–2): 211–219.

Hussein A S, El-Shishiny H. 2009. Influences of wind flow over heritage sites: A case study of the wind environment over the Giza Plateau in Egypt. Environmental Modelling & Software, 24: 389–410.

Kristóf G, Rácz N, Balogh M. 2009. Adaptation of pressure based CFD solvers for mesoscale atmospheric problems. Boundary-Layer Meteorology, 131(1): 85–103.

Landberg L, Myllerup L, Rathmann O, et al. 2003. Wind resource estimation—an overview. Wind Energy, 6: 262–271.

Lettau H. 1969. Note on aerodynamic roughness parameter estimation on the basis of roughness element description. Journal of Applied Meteorology, 8: 828–832.

Lien F S, Yee E. 2004. Numerical modelling of the turbulent flow developing within and over a 3-D building array, part I: a high- resolution Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes approach. Boundary- Layer Meteorology, 112(3): 427–466.

Liu B, Qu J, Zhang W, et al. 2011. Numerical simulation of wind flow over transverse and pyramid dunes. Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics, 99(8): 879–888.

Macdonald R W, Carter Schofield S, Slawson P R. 2002. Physical modelling of urban roughness using arrays of regular roughness elements. Water, Air and Soil Pollution: Focus, 2(5–6): 541–554.

Moreira G A, Santos A C, Nascimento C M, et al. 2012. Numerical study of the neutral atmospheric boundary layer over complex terrain. Boundary-Layer Meteorology, 143(2): 393–407.

Patra A K. 2006. Influence of wind speed profile and roughness parameters on the downwind extension of vulnerable zones during dispersion of toxic dense gases. Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries, 19(5): 478–480.

Salim S M, Buccolieri R, Chan A, et al. 2011. Numerical simulation of atmospheric pollutant dispersion in an urban street canyon: comparison between RANS and LES. Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics, 99: 103–113.

Strack M, Riedel V. 2004. State of the art application of flow models for micrositing. In: Proceedings of the International Technical Wind Energy Conference. Wilhelmshaven: German Wind Energy Institute.

Uchida T, Ohya Y. 1999. Numerical simulation of atmospheric flow over complex terrain. Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics, 81: 283–293.

Wieringa J. 1993. Representative roughness parameters for homoge¬neous terrain. Boundary-Layer Meteorol, 63: 323–363.

Yassin M, Ohba M, Tanaka H. 2008. Experimental study on flow and gaseous diffusion behind an isolated building. Environmental Moni¬toring and Assessment, 147(1–3): 149–158.
[1] Shentang DOU, Xin YU, Heqiang DU, Fangxiu ZHANG. Numerical simulations of flow and sediment transport within the Ning-Meng reach of the Yellow River, northern China[J]. Journal of Arid Land, 2017, 9(4): 591-608.
[2] WenZhi ZENG, Chi XU, JingWei WU, JieSheng HUANG. Soil salt leaching under different irrigation regimes: HYDRUS-1D modelling and analysis[J]. Journal of Arid Land, 2014, 6(1): 44-58.
[3] ChengYi ZHAO, Yu SHENG, Yilihm·Yimam. Quantifying the impacts of soil water stress on the winter wheat growth in an arid region, Xinjiang[J]. Journal of Arid Land, 2009, 1(1): 34-42.