Original paper

The Influence of subway climatology on gas dispersion and the effectiveness of guided evacuations in a complex subway station

Brüne, Markus; Charlton, James; Pflitsch, Andreas; Agnew, Brian

Meteorologische Zeitschrift Vol. 25 No. 4 (2016), p. 489 - 499

19 references

published: Sep 6, 2016
published online: Jul 7, 2016
manuscript accepted: Dec 21, 2015
manuscript revision received: Dec 17, 2015
manuscript revision requested: Sep 23, 2015
manuscript received: Jul 20, 2015

DOI: 10.1127/metz/2016/0726

BibTeX file


Open Access (paper can be downloaded for free)

Download paper for free


This paper discusses a strategy that integrates data from tracer gas experiments with results from pedestrian simulation software in the evaluation of different evacuation procedures for subway stations in response to a fire or a terrorist attack with chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and enhanced conventional weapons (CBRNE). The study demonstrates that by combining the two data sets a greater understanding of the impact of different evacuations routes on an evacuee's health is gained. It is shown that by controlling the routes pedestrians would use to exit a subway station, the number of fatalities and evacuees with long term health issues can be reduced. It is highlighted that a dynamic evacuation guiding system based on subway climatology would take into account the source of the toxin, the resulting dispersal of gas, smoke, etc. and the subway climatology at the time. In doing so, it would be possible to identify the most endangered areas and guide passengers via an adaptive escape route using audio and visual techniques. Information on the evolution of the emergency situation could also simultaneously be relayed back to the rescue forces to help to plan the rescue and evacuation procedures and optimise the deployment of the search and rescue teams.


pedestrian simulationgas attacksubway climatologytracer gas experimentguided evacuation