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
NIST Pub Series: NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR)
Pub Type: NIST PubsReport Number:
crude oil, oil spills, in situ combustion, pool fires, smoke, fire plumes, smoke movement, in situ burning