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Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: model experiment description paper 04 Aug 2020

Submitted as: model experiment description paper | 04 Aug 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal GMD.

Sensitivity analysis of the PALM model system 6.0 in the urban environment

Michal Belda1, Jaroslav Resler2, Jan Geletič2, Pavel Krč2, Björn Maronga3, Matthias Sühring3, Mona Kurppa6, Farah Kanani-Sühring3,4, Vladimír Fuka1, Kryštof Eben2, Nina Benešová5, and Mikko Auvinen7 Michal Belda et al.
  • 1Department of Atmospheric Physics, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic
  • 2Institute of Computer Science, Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague, Czech Republic
  • 3Institute of Meteorology and Climatology, Leibniz University Hannover, Hannover, Germany
  • 4Harzenergie GmbH & Co. KG, Goslar, Germany
  • 5Czech Hydrometeorological Institute, Prague, Czech Republic
  • 6Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research / Physics, Faculty of Science, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
  • 7Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, Finland

Abstract. Sensitivity of the PALM model 6.0 is tested in a real urban environment in the vicinity of a typical crossroad in a densely built-up residential area in Prague, Czech Republic. Two types of scenarios are employed. First are the synthetic scenarios altering mainly surface and material parameters such as albedo, emissivity or wall conductivity, testing sensitivity of the model simulations to potentially erroneous setting of model inputs. Second, real-life type scenarios are analyzed, in which commonly considered urban heat island mitigation measures are applied, such as greening of the streets or changing surface materials. For the first-type scenarios, surface parameters used in radiation balance equations are found to be the most sensitive overall followed by volumetric heat capacity and thermal conductivity of walls. Other parameters show limited average effect, however, some can still be significant in some parts of the day, such as surface roughness in the morning hours. Second type, the mitigation scenarios, show urban vegetation to be the most effective measure, especially when considering both physical and biophysical temperature indicators. Influence of both type scenarios was also tested for air quality, specifically PM10 dispersion which generally shows behaviour opposite to thermal indicators, ie., improved thermal comfort brings deterioration of PM10 concentrations.

Michal Belda et al.

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Status: open (until 02 Nov 2020)
Status: open (until 02 Nov 2020)
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Michal Belda et al.

Model code and software

PALM 6.0 r4093 Jan Geletic et al.

Michal Belda et al.


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Latest update: 28 Sep 2020
Publications Copernicus
Short summary
The analysis summarizes how sensitive the modeling of urban environment is to changes of physical parameters describing the city (e.g. reflectivity of surfaces) and to several heat island mitigation scenarios in a real city quarter in Prague, Czech Republic. We used the LES modeling system PALM in version 6.0. Surface parameters connected to radiation show the highest sensitivity in this configuration. For heat island mitigation, urban vegetation is shown to be the most effective measure.
The analysis summarizes how sensitive the modeling of urban environment is to changes of...