Contaminant Dispersion Validation Simulations for an Urban Inspired Scenario

Contributing USMA Research Unit(s)

Civil and Mechanical Engineering

Publication Date


Publication Title

American Society of Thermal and Fluids Engineers (ASTFE) 4th Thermal and Fluids Engineering Conference

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


The atmospheric dispersion of contaminants in the wake of a large urban structure is a challenging fluid mechanics problem of interest to the scientific and engineering communities. Magnetic Resonance Velocimetry (MRV) is a relatively new technique that leverages diagnostic equipment used primarily by the medical field to make 3D engineering measurements of water flow and contaminant dispersal. SIERRA/Fuego, a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) code at Sandia National Labs is employed to make detailed comparisons to the dataset to evaluate the quantitative and qualitative accuracy of the model. The comparison exercise shows good comparison between model and experimental results, with the wake region downstream of the tall building presenting the most significant challenge to the quantitative accuracy of the model. Model uncertainties are assessed through parametric variations. Some observations are made in relation to the future utility of MRV and CFD, and some productive follow-on activities are suggested that can help mature the science of flow modeling and experimental testing.

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