Evaluation of the Town Energy Balance (TEB) scheme with direct measurements from dry districts in two cities.

V Masson, CSB Grimmond, TR Oke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

230 Citations (Scopus)


The Town Energy Balance (TEB) model of Masson simulates turbulent fluxes for urban areas. It is forced with atmospheric data and radiation recorded above roof level and incorporates detailed representations of the urban surface (canyon geometry) to simulate energy balances for walls, roads, and roofs. Here the authors evaluate TEB using directly measured surface temperatures and local-scale energy balance and radiation fluxes for two `simple' urban sites: a downtown area within the historic core of Mexico City, Mexico (stone buildings five to six stories in height), and a light industrial site in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (flat-roofed, single-story warehouses). At both sites, vegetation cover is less than 5%, which permits direct evaluation of TEB in the absence of a coupled vegetation scheme. Following small modifications to TEB, notably to the aerodynamic resistance formulations, the model is shown to perform well overall. In Mexico City, with deep urban canyons and stone walls, almost two-thirds of the net radiation is partitioned into storage heat flux during the day, and this maintains large heat releases and an upward turbulent sensible heat flux at night. TEB simulates all of these features well. At both sites TEB correctly simulates the net radiation, surface temperatures, and the partitioning between the turbulent and storage heat fluxes. The composite wall temperature simulated by TEB is close to the average of the four measured wall temperatures. A sensitivity analysis of model parameters shows TEB is fairly robust; for the conditions considered here, TEB is most sensitive to roof characteristics and incoming solar radiation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1011 - 1026
Number of pages16
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2002


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