Comparison of Road Traffic Noise Prediction Models: CNOSSOS-EU, Nord2000 and TRANEX

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Road traffic noise is the most pervasive source of ambient outdoor noise pollution in Europe. Traffic noise prediction models vary in parameterisation and therefore may produce different estimates of noise levels depending on the geographical setting in terms of emissions sources and propagation field. This paper compares three such models: the European standard, Common Noise Assessment Methods for the EU Member States (hereafter, CNOSSOS), Nord2000 and Traffic Noise Exposure (TRANEX) model based on the UK methodology, in terms of their source and propagation characteristics. The tools are also compared by analysing estimated noise (LAeq) from CNOSSOS, Nord2000 (2006 version), and TRANEX for more than one hundred test cases (N = 111) covering a variety of source and receiver configurations (e.g. varying source to receiver distance). The main aim of this approach was to investigate the potential pattern in differences between models’ performance for certain types of configurations. Discrepancies in performance may thus be linked to the differences in parameterisations of the CNOSSOS, Nord2000, and TRANEX (e.g. handling of diffraction, refraction). In most cases, both CNOSSOS and TRANEX reproduced LAeq levels of Nord2000 (2006 version) within three to five dBA (CNOSSOS: 87%, TRANEX: 94%). The differences in LAeq levels of CNOSSOS, compared to Nord2000, can be related to several shortcomings of the existing CNOSSOS algorithms (e.g. ground attenuation, multiple diffractions, and mean ground plane). The analyses show that more research is required in order to improve CNOSSOS for its implementation in the EU. In this context, amendments for CNOSSOS proposed by an EU Working Group hold significant potential. Overall, both CNOSSOS and TRANEX produced similar results, with TRANEX reproducing Nord2000 LAeq values slightly better than the CNOSSOS. The lack of measured noise data highlights one of the significant limitations of this study and needs to be addressed in future work.
Original languageEnglish
Article number116240
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021

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