NIST logo

Publication Citation: Smoke Plume Trajectory From In Situ Burning of Crude Oil in Alaska: Field Experiments and Modeling of Complex Terrain (NISTIR 5958)

NIST Authors in Bold

Author(s): Kevin B. McGrattan; Howard R. Baum; William D. Walton; J. J. Trelles;
Title: Smoke Plume Trajectory From In Situ Burning of Crude Oil in Alaska: Field Experiments and Modeling of Complex Terrain (NISTIR 5958)
Published: January 01, 1997
Abstract: A combination of numerical modeling and large scale experimentation has yielded a tremendous amount of information about the structure, trajectory and composition of smoke plumes from large crude oil fires. The model, ALOFT (A Large Outdoor Fire plume Trajectory), is based on the fundamental conservation equations that govern the introduction of hot gases and particulate matter from a large fire into the atmosphere. Two forms of the Navier-Stokes equations are solved numerically - one to describe the plume rise in the first kilometer, the other to describe the plume transport over tens of kilometers of complex terrain. Each form of the governing equations resolves the flow field at different length scales. Particulate matter, or any non-reacting combustion product, is represented by Lagrangian paticles that are advected by the fire-induced flow field. Background atmospheric motion is described in terms of the angular fluctuation of the prevailing wind, and represented by random perturbations to the mean particle paths. Results of the model are compared with three sets of field experiments. Estimates are made of distances from the fire where ground level concentrations of the combustion products fall below regulatory threshold levels.
Citation: NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 5958
Keywords: crude oil; oil spills; in situ combustion; pool fires; smoke; fire plumes; smoke movement; in situ burning
Research Areas: Building and Fire Research
PDF version: PDF Document Click here to retrieve PDF version of paper (16MB)