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Environmental Modeling and Visualization Laboratory

Human Exposure in Urban Environments

Human Exposure in Urban Environments
This project uses computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to simulate and predict wind velocity, turbulence, and airborne contaminant concentrations in "urban street canyons". Understanding the factors affecting air quality in such environments is important since tens of millions of people are exposed to city air on a daily basis. Due to the complexity of urban canyons, accurate models must use a micro-fine scale (~ 1m) to resolve essential airflow features. The results shown here used approximately 10-50 million finite volume computational cells, and required hundreds of hours of CPU time to calculate.

The Environmental Modeling and Visualization Laboratory (EMVL) is an EPA-managed, contractor-operated facility designed to support EPA's scientific modeling and large-scale data management research programs through the application of High Performance Computing (HPC) and visualization tools.

The mission of US EPA's EMVL falls into two broad areas:

  1. Provide the High Performance Computing (HPC) resources necessary to support environmental research of global proportions and improved science for the development of regulations.
  2. Assist researchers in translating data into knowledge by using visual images to facilitate insight into that data. These data include empirical data gathered from observers or sensors and derived data generated by computational models.

High Performance Computing

The Center for Environmental Computing (CEC) HPC Service provides the technology infrastructure required for computing, as well as the scientific expertise for modeling code optimization, post-processing analyses, and visualization of data for scientific analysis and collaboration. HPC provides leading edge information technology and tools to advance environmental research in support of EPA's mission.

Scientific Visualization and Modeling Support

EMVL staff provide state-of-the-art visualization and modeling resources that assist and advance the research work of EPA regions, program offices, and laboratories. Through collaboration with researchers, EMVL staff explore, evaluate, and test new methods for scientific and information visualization and develop the best of these methods into working prototypes. Furthermore, EMVL staff transfer this new knowledge to its customers by providing training, developing and presenting special demonstration projects, and by providing expertise and guidance in the specification, procurement and implementation of user-owned visualization systems and/or labs.

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