Research School for Socio-Economic and
Natural Sciences of the Environment
Research School for Socio-Economic and
Natural Sciences of the Environment

Arjan Droste

Date: 04 November 2020
Location: Wageningen

Dissertation title: 

Understanding the urban atmosphere through conceptual modelling and opportunistic sensing

Meteorology & Air Quality, Wageningen University

Promotor: prof. dr AAM Holtslag
Co-promotor: dr GJ Steeneveld


This thesis explores the urban climate, with a focus on wind speed, from two distinct approaches. The first approach is the use of opportunistic sensing, to collect and process vast quantities of urban meteorological data. The second approach is using (conceptual) physical modelling to gain a better understanding of wind differences between city and countryside. The main findings are that opportunistic sensing and crowdsourced data form a valuable addition to urban meteorological measurements, though care needs to be taken to account for the large errors present in these data and associated techniques. Secondly, that average wind in urban areas can be faster than over the countryside. This Urban Wind Island can form both during the day, through different boundary-layer growth dynamics; and during night-time, related to the delayed collapse of the convective boundary layer. Both unconventional observation techniques as well as conceptual modelling can contribute to understanding the urban atmosphere.

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