Science Inventory

Persistence of initial conditions in continental scale air quality simulations

Citation:

Hogrefe, C., S. Roselle, AND J. Bash. Persistence of initial conditions in continental scale air quality simulations. ATMOSPHERIC ENVIRONMENT. Elsevier Science Ltd, New York, NY, 160:36-45, (2017).

Impact/Purpose:

This study investigates the effect of initial conditions (IC) for pollutant concentrations in the atmosphere and soil on simulated air quality for two continental-scale Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) model applications. One of these applications was performed for springtime and the second for summertime. Results show that a spin-up period of ten days commonly used in regional-scale applications may not be sufficient to reduce the effects of initial conditions to less than 1% of seasonally-averaged surface ozone concentrations everywhere while 20 days were found to be sufficient for the entire domain for the spring case and almost the entire domain for the summer case

Description:

This study investigates the effect of initial conditions (IC) for pollutant concentrations in the atmosphere and soil on simulated air quality for two continental-scale Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) model applications. One of these applications was performed for springtime and the second for summertime. Results show that a spin-up period of ten days commonly used in regional-scale applications may not be sufficient to reduce the effects of initial conditions to less than 1% of seasonally-averaged surface ozone concentrations everywhere while 20 days were found to be sufficient for the entire domain for the spring case and almost the entire domain for the summer case. For the summer case, differences were found to persist longer aloft due to circulation of air masses and even a spin-up period of 30 days was not sufficient to reduce the effects of ICs to less than 1% of seasonally-averaged layer 34 ozone concentrations over the southwestern portion of the modeling domain. Analysis of the effect of soil initial conditions for the CMAQ bidirectional NH3 exchange model shows that during springtime they can have an important effect on simulated inorganic aerosols concentrations for time periods of one month or longer. The effects are less pronounced during other seasons. The results, while specific to the modeling domain and time periods simulated here, suggest that modeling protocols need to be scrutinized for a given application and that it cannot be assumed that commonly-used spin-up periods are necessarily sufficient to reduce the effects of initial conditions on model results to an acceptable level. What constitutes an acceptable level of difference cannot be generalized and will depend on the particular application, time period and species of interest. Moreover, as the application of air quality models is being expanded to cover larger geographical domains and as these models are increasingly being coupled with other modeling systems to better represent air-surface-water exchanges, the effects of model initialization in such applications needs to be studied in future work.

URLs/Downloads:

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.atmosenv.2017.04.009   Exit

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Product Published Date: 07/01/2017
Record Last Revised: 05/17/2018
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 336515

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL EXPOSURE RESEARCH LABORATORY

COMPUTATIONAL EXPOSURE DIVISION