Impact of meteorological conditions on noise propagation from freeway corridors

N. C. Ovenden, S. R. Shaffer, H. J.S. Fernando

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


This paper examines the impact of meteorological conditions on the propagation of vehicular noise from urban freeways. A parabolic equation model coupled to an analytical Green's function solution close to the source field is used to compute the refracted sound field up to half a mile from the freeway to predict the noise exposure of residential areas nearby. The model was used in conjunction with meteorological and sound-level measurements taken at two freeway sites over the course of four days in Phoenix, AZ. From the data collected, three test cases of varying levels of atmospheric stratification and wind shear are presented and discussed. The model demonstrates that atmospheric effects are able to raise sound levels by 10-20 dB at significant distances away from the highway, causing violations of acceptable limits imposed by the Federal Highway Administration in residential areas that are normally in compliance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-35
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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