The Application of an Evolutionary Programming Process to a Simulation of the ETEX Large-Scale Airborne Dispersion Experiment

David Werth Savannah River National Laboratory, Aiken, South Carolina

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Grace Maze Savannah River National Laboratory, Aiken, South Carolina

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Robert Buckley Savannah River National Laboratory, Aiken, South Carolina

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Steven Chiswell Savannah River National Laboratory, Aiken, South Carolina

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Abstract

Airborne tracer simulations are typically performed using a dispersion model driven by a high-resolution meteorological model. Besides solving the dynamic equations of momentum, heat, and moisture on the resolved model grid, mesoscale models must account for subgrid-scale fluxes and other unresolved processes. These are estimated through parameterization schemes of eddy diffusion, convection, and surface interactions, and they make use of prescribed parameters set by the user. Such “free” model parameters are often poorly constrained, and a range of plausible values exists for each. Evolutionary programming (EP) is a process to improve the selection of the parameters. A population of simulations is first run with a different set of parameter values for each member, and the member judged most accurate is selected as the “parent” of a new “generation.” After a number of iterations, the simulations should approach a configuration that is best adapted to the atmospheric conditions. We apply the EP process to simulate the first release of the 1994 European Tracer Experiment (ETEX) project, which comprised two experiments in which a tracer was released in western France and sampled by an observing network. The EP process is used to improve a simulation of the RAMS mesoscale weather model, with weather data collected during ETEX being used to “score” the individual members according to how well each simulation matches the observations. The meteorological simulations from before and after application of the EP process are each used to force a dispersion model to create a simulation of the ETEX release, and substantial improvement is observed when these are validated against sampled tracer concentrations.

© 2019 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: David Werth, david.werth@srnl.doe.gov

Abstract

Airborne tracer simulations are typically performed using a dispersion model driven by a high-resolution meteorological model. Besides solving the dynamic equations of momentum, heat, and moisture on the resolved model grid, mesoscale models must account for subgrid-scale fluxes and other unresolved processes. These are estimated through parameterization schemes of eddy diffusion, convection, and surface interactions, and they make use of prescribed parameters set by the user. Such “free” model parameters are often poorly constrained, and a range of plausible values exists for each. Evolutionary programming (EP) is a process to improve the selection of the parameters. A population of simulations is first run with a different set of parameter values for each member, and the member judged most accurate is selected as the “parent” of a new “generation.” After a number of iterations, the simulations should approach a configuration that is best adapted to the atmospheric conditions. We apply the EP process to simulate the first release of the 1994 European Tracer Experiment (ETEX) project, which comprised two experiments in which a tracer was released in western France and sampled by an observing network. The EP process is used to improve a simulation of the RAMS mesoscale weather model, with weather data collected during ETEX being used to “score” the individual members according to how well each simulation matches the observations. The meteorological simulations from before and after application of the EP process are each used to force a dispersion model to create a simulation of the ETEX release, and substantial improvement is observed when these are validated against sampled tracer concentrations.

© 2019 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: David Werth, david.werth@srnl.doe.gov
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