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Airflow and air quality simulations over the western mountainous region with a four-dimensional data assimilation technique

Authors
Journal
Atmospheric Environment (1967)
0004-6981
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
23
Issue
3
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/0004-6981(89)90003-6
Keywords
  • Air Quality
  • Numerical Simulation
  • Complex Terrain Flows
  • Scenes
  • Four-Dimensional Data Assimilation
  • Random Particle Diffusion
Disciplines
  • Earth Science

Abstract

Abstract We apply a three-dimensional meteorological model with a four-dimensional data assimilation (4-DDA) technique to simulate diurnal variations of wind, temperature, water vapor, and turbulence in a region extending from the west coast to east of the Rockies and from northern Mexico to Wyoming. The wind data taken during the 1985 SCENES ( S ubregional C ooperative E lectric Utility, Dept. of Defense, N ational Park Service, and E nvironmental Protection Agency S tudy on Visibility) field experiments are successfully assimilated into the model through the 4-DDA technique by ‘nudging’ the modeled winds toward the observed winds. The modeled winds and turbulence fields are then used in a Lagrangian random-particle statistical model to investigate how pollutants from potential sources are transported and diffused. Finally, we calculate the ground concentrations through a kernel density estimator. Two scenarios in different weather patterns are investigated with simulation periods up to 6 days. One is associated with the evolution of a surface cold front and the other under a high-pressure stagnant condition. In the frontal case, the impact of air-mass movement on the ground concentrations of pollutants released from the Los Angeles area is well depicted by the model. Also, the pollutants produced from Los Angeles can be transported to the Grand Canyon area within 24 h. However, if we use only the data that were obtained from the regular NWS rawinsonde network, whose temporal and spatial resolutions are coarser than those of the special network, the plume goes north-northeast and never reaches the Grand Canyon area. In the stagnant case, the pollutants meander around the source area and can have significant impact on local air quality.

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