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PM2.5 concentrations observed and modeled for the 2016 southern Appalachian wildfire event
McDowell, I., Tom Pierce, B. Eder, K. Foley, R. Gilliam, G. Pouliot, AND J. Wilkins. PM2.5 concentrations observed and modeled for the 2016 southern Appalachian wildfire event. 16th Annual CMAS Conference, Chapel Hill, NC, October 23 - 25, 2017.
Wildland fires across the United States are increasing in frequency and intensity, and they can contribute to elevated levels of air pollution -- often above the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS). Air quality models are needed to simulate the fate and transport of wildland smoke and its impact on atmospheric pollutant concentrations, to inform the public and to assist in developing effective mitigation strategies.
During November 2016, wildfires in the southern Appalachian region of the United States burned over 125,00 acres leading to a widespread outbreak of elevated levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5). Daily average concentrations above the current National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) of 35 ugm-3 were measured across much of eastern Tennesse, northern Georgia, and western North Carolina during a two-week period. As the prevalence of wildfires is projected to continue to increase in future years -- due to changes in climate and the growing abundance of fire-prone forest biomass, models like the Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) modeling system can be useful for providing estimates of human exposure to harmful levels of PM2.5. A near-real-time version of CMAQ was used to simulate the impact of the wildfire event during November 12-30, 2016. Simulations with and without wildland fire emission estimates have been compared with monitoring data, and the CMAQ modeling system demonstrates some utility at estimating the impact of fire emissions on human exposure from the 2016 southern Appalachian wildfire event.
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (PRESENTATION/POSTER)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL EXPOSURE RESEARCH LABORATORY
COMPUTATIONAL EXPOSURE DIVISION