Lagrangian Modeling of Pollutant Dispersal in the Atmospheric Boundary Layer

EPA Grant Number: R823419
Title: Lagrangian Modeling of Pollutant Dispersal in the Atmospheric Boundary Layer
Investigators: Weil, Jeffrey C.
Institution: University of Colorado at Boulder
EPA Project Officer: Shapiro, Paul
Project Period: October 1, 1995 through September 30, 1997 (Extended to September 30, 1998)
Project Amount: $164,473
RFA: Exploratory Research - Chemistry and Physics of Air (1995) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Air , Engineering and Environmental Chemistry


The objective of this project is to gain an improved understanding and modeling capability of buoyant plume dispersal in the convective atmospheric boundary layer (CABL). The project focuses on modeling of the mean and root-mean-square (rms) concentration fields due to buoyant plume releases from elevated sources. Two approaches are being pursued. The first is a numerical hybrid Lagrangian model consisting of: 1) a stochastic (statistical) method for modeling the plume meander due to the large-scale turbulent eddies in the ambient flow, and 2) an entrainment model for describing the plume rise and growth relative to these large-scale eddies. The second approach is a simpler analytical method in which the mean and rms concentration fields are obtained by tracing "particle" trajectories using the probability distributions of the vertical and lateral turbulent velocities in the CABL. The models are being evaluated with existing laboratory measurements of plume dispersion in a convection tank and with field observations around power plants. Using the mean and rms concentration levels from this study, one can describe the concentration probability distribution at locations downwind of elevated pollution sources. This distribution can then be used to estimate the peak concentrations of toxic and hazardous air pollutants and the level of risk associated with them.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 3 publications for this project

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this project: View all 1 journal articles for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

air, ambient air, atmosphere, particulates, physics, modeling, central, Colorado, CO, Region 8, RFA, Scientific Discipline, Air, Geographic Area, particulate matter, air toxics, Environmental Chemistry, State, Atmospheric Sciences, tropospheric ozone, Engineering, Chemistry, & Physics, EPA Region, ambient air quality, Lagrangian approach, ambient aerosol, particulates, air pollutants, stratospheric ozone, atmospheric particles, air quality models, power plants, modeling, ambient emissions, Langraian modeling, buoyant plume dispersal, entrainment model, air pollution models, atmospheric aerosols, Region 8, convective boundry layers, pollution dispersion models

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 1996
  • 1997
  • Final Report