Systematic and hierarchical water channel experiments were conducted with the goal of obtaining better understanding of complex urban flows. Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) together with Planar Laser Induced Fluorescence (PLIF) were used for comprehensive flow and concentration measurements within a modeled urban setup. Mock urban settings were reproduced using acrylic blocs whose refraction index is the same as the refraction index of salty water. Such setup allowed for undisturbed laser sheet illumination through the obstacles enabling detailed measurements between the obstacles (mock buildings). Building array size, measurement plane and flow conditions were systematically varied. Challenges and benefits of using transparent materials with the laser based flow measurements will be outlined. Novel flow features observed and quantitatively measured within the complex mock urban settings will be presented and discussed. It was found that lateral array size has significant influence on initial dispersion within the array. Smaller array size lead to sideways flow channeling causing significant plume spread. This sideways channeling becomes less pronounced as array size increases.

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