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Prediction of Wind Erosion over a Heritage Site: A Case Study of Yongling Mausoleum, China


To protect heritage buildings better, a method exploiting computational fluid dynamics (CFD) was developed for the analysis of wind erosion at a heritage site. Over a two-year period, we collected measurements of hourly weather data at Xinbin County to obtain statistics of wind speeds and directions for the Yongling Mausoleum. Subsequent results from CFD simulations show that before greening, with wind speeds reaching 10 m/s, certain structures (southwest-facing corners, doors and windows on open sides, places where swirling winds develop, and eaves of sloping roofs) of four heritage buildings were eroded more severely. With appropriate greening, plants may exert their unique ecological presence to better protect heritage buildings and their historical environments. After greening, the severity of damage to these vulnerable structures by wind was reduced. With wind speeds reaching 10 m/s, the average pressure on the structures of each building was 0.41–27.85 Pa, representing a reduction of 2.4%–75.6% from pressures before greening. We also constructed a 1:500-scale model to verify in experiments the correctness of CFD simulation qualitatively. The CFD simulations were found to provide an effective method to investigate and predict wind erosion of the heritage site.


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Correspondence to Xiaoyu Wang.

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Wang, X., Meng, J., Zhu, T. et al. Prediction of Wind Erosion over a Heritage Site: A Case Study of Yongling Mausoleum, China. Built Heritage 3, 41–57 (2019).

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  • computational fluid dynamics (CFD)
  • numerical simulation
  • wind erosion
  • greening plan
  • heritage conservation