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Atmospheric Transport

four squares on the left and each square shows a slightly different dispersion plume with colors ranging from light blue to an edge of dark blue with some yellow and red at the center. On the right are four Y sections of the plume.
Top view (left) and Y-sections (right) of instantaneous concentrations field of a continuous tracer release from an elevated source (at 160 magl) computed using Eulerian dispersion driven by LES in-line and with LPDM coupled to LES off-line using (res + SGS) the resolved velocity variances combined with the subgrid scale turbulence, (res) only the resolved velocity variances and (KC) the Kantha-Clayson mixing parametrization. Color bar represents the tracer molar fraction (log10 (umol/mol)) Credit: Lopez-Coto et al., (2020) Coupling an Off-Line Lagrangian Dispersion Model with Large Eddy Simulations as a Tool for Vertical Mixing Parameterization Development in Mesoscale Applications (Oral). 100th American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting. Boston.   

Atmospheric transport and dispersion (ATD) models are fundamental tools for the inference of trace gas source magnitude and location as well as for air quality prediction. The model characterizes the transport of GHG from an emission location, in both time and space, to where it is measured in the atmosphere using our understanding of atmospheric dynamics, physics, and chemistry.

The ability of the transport model to correctly or adequately simulate actual transport will directly impact the quality of the estimated emissions and, although these models have come a long way and appreciable progress has been achieved, uncertainties remain, mostly driven by our limited ability to represent dispersion processes and turbulent mixing on the spatial and temporal scales involved.

To better understand atmospheric transport, turbulent mixing, and dispersion and improve their representation in models we are conducting research in mixing parametrizations, near-field dispersion, turbulence “grey-zone” and urban area impacts like the Urban Heat Island and the enhanced “roughness” induced by buildings. In this research, we use a combination of measurements from aircraft and ground-based doppler lidars with a suite of modeling tools such as Numerical Weather Prediction models, Large Eddy Simulations and Lagrangian Particle Dispersion models.

Created February 24, 2022, Updated November 22, 2022