UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Energy Balance of an Urban Canyon. Nunez, M.; Oke, Timothy R.


This study investigates the energy exchanges occurring within an urban canyon. It considers not only the energy balances of each of the canyon component surfaces (walls and floor), but also the balance of the canyon system and of the air volume contained therein. The results are based on measurements conducted in a specially instrumented canyon during a period of fine anticyclonic summer weather in Vancouver, B.C. The timing and magnitude of the energy regime of the individual canyon surfaces are shown to be very different from each other, each being strongly affected by the influence of the canyon geometry on the radiation exchanges. The diurnal course of the canyon system energy balance is relatively smooth and symmetric. By day the canyon system radiative surplus is mainly dissipated by turbulent transfer, and the remaining 25–30% is stored in the canyon materials. In contrast, the nocturnal radiative deficit is almost entirely balanced by the release of subsurface heat storage. Advective contributions to the air volume energy balance are shown to depend upon wind direction and speed, as well as the nature of the surrounding thermal environment. Copyright 1977 American Meteorological Society (AMS). Permission to use figures, tables, and brief excerpts from this work in scientific and educational works is hereby granted provided that the source is acknowledged. Any use of material in this work that is determined to be “fair use” under Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act or that satisfies the conditions specified in Section 108 of the U.S. Copyright Act (17 USC §108, as revised by P.L. 94-553) does not require the AMS’s permission. Republication, systematic reproduction, posting in electronic form, such as on a web site or in a searchable database, or other uses of this material, except as exempted by the above statement, requires written permission or a license from the AMS. Additional details are provided in the AMS Copyright Policy, available on the AMS Web site located at (http://www.ametsoc.org/) or from the AMS at 617-227-2425 or copyright@ametsoc.org.

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