NWC Roof Observation Deck

Innovative Laboratory for Research and Education in Urban Meteorology (ILREUM)

Career award funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF Grant #ATM054788)

Dr. Petra Klein, Associate Professor and Edith Kinney Gaylord Presidential Professor, School of Meteorology, University of Oklahoma

Project Team:
Xiaoming Hu - Research Scientist
Sean Arms - PhD Student
Jose Galvez - PhD Student

Data transfer:

Project Overview:

ILREUM is a project that seeks to bridge the gap between modern research practices and student education in an area of growing national interest: urban meteorology. The main objectives of ILREUM are to

  1. fully use modern observation techniques in boundary layer research
  2. gain new knowledge about boundary-layer dynamics and turbulence structure over terrain with large roughness elements
  3. advance urban surface-layer parameterization schemes and
  4. create synergistic and integrated learning experiences to better educate future scientists and professionals about urban impacts on atmospheric phenomena.

ILREUM takes place in the context of the School of Meteorology (SoM) from the University of Oklahoma (OU) and it is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF Grant #ATM054788).

ILREUM Sites and Studies:


The diagram seen on the right presents an overview of the ILREUM laboratory components. The laboratory components of ILREUM developed at the School of Meteorology at OU are seen in the top row and the infrastructure provided through collaborations is highlighted in the bottom row. The complexity of the roughness surrounding the sites increases as color goes from yellow to red. The connectors between the individual components indicate the interactions between studies at different platforms. The potential use for research and education is illustrated by the blue arrows pointing in the direction of increasing capabilities.

Overview of ILREUM Components

Current Urban Campaign

Sketch of MobUrb Setup during the ILREUM 2009-10 Urban Campaign

One major goal of ILREUM is to investigate the turbulent heat and momentum transfer between the urban canopy layer and the atmospheric boundary layer above. For this purpose we are currently carrying out an intensive field campaign with sonic and scintillometer measurements in an urban setting. An outline of the planned instrumentation of an urban street is shown in the sketch to the left. Installation started during the early spring of 2009, and went on throughout the summer. Complete measurements were being carried out by the beginning of August of 2009. The only component that is not available at the moment is the scintillometer, since the transmitter got damaged and it was under repair as of January of 2010. The field campaign is being carried out across an urban street canyon located within the OU campus in Norman, OK. In order to capture a variety of different weather conditions and to generate long-term urban data sets, we plan to operate the site over a full 1-year period, so measurements will be carried out at least throughout the summer of 2010, and ideally until the end of the year.

The following are some of the first example figures processed using the ILREUM urban campaign data. The figure to the left shows a scatterplot showing the relationship between the across-canyon winds near the edge of the roof of the north building during Sept.28.2009. The flow this day was mainly from the east-northeast, so an off-roof component was present most of the time. During the final part of the day, the flow changed to southeasterly, and an on-roof component developed. On the other hand, the figure to the right shows the same type of plot but for a day when the winds were from the south quadrant most of the time (i.e. perpendicular to the building). This figure evidences the development of different types of circulations which are a function of wind speed (and of course, wind direction). For southerly winds, a rotor develops near the edge of the building when winds are weak. As winds become stronger, the rotor becomes an vertical velocity gradient with weaker winds near the roof. When winds exceed 4 m/s, the lowest sonic anemometer registered stronger wind speeds more than 50% of the time, which indicates that southerly winds were funneled between 3m and the roof surface.

Across-canyon wind at north Mast (B) during September 28 2009 Day with winds from the ENE

Across-canyon wind at north Mast (B) during August 25 2009 Day with winds from the south

Some Examples of Conducted Studies

In preparation for the urban deployment of MobURB intensive test campaigns of the scintillometer and sonic anemometers were conducted in the summer of 2007 and 2008 at a suburban site in Norman, OK. This site is located on the northern edge of Norman near the Max Westheimer Airport and Norman Oklahoma Mesonet site on the Northbase of the OU campus. In the near field of the site there are only a few obstructions, but in particular for southerly wind directions the flow and turbulence characteristics are influenced by the Norman city landscape that can be seen in the background of the photo shown to the right. The data collected during these two campaigns are currently analyzed by the PhD student Jose Galvez. First results from the 2007 campaign were presented at the 18th Symposium on Boundary Layers and Turbulence, in Stockholm, Sweden in June 2008. A brief summary of the first Scintillometer Tests, which were conducted at OU's Kessler Farm Field Laboratory can be found here in pdf-format

Summer 2008 Test Campaign at OU North Base

For more detailed information about ILREUM sites, research and educational activities please use the above tabs to navigate the website. The ILREUM data archive can be found at http://micronet.ou.edu:8080/repository.

Main (last edited 2010-03-03 02:22:33 by SeanArms)