Numerical Simulation of ANATEX Tracer Data Using a Turbulence Closure Model for Long-Range Dispersion

R. I. Sykes A.R.A.P. Group, California Research and Technology Division, Princeton, New Jersey

Search for other papers by R. I. Sykes in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
S. F. Parker A.R.A.P. Group, California Research and Technology Division, Princeton, New Jersey

Search for other papers by S. F. Parker in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
D. S. Henn A.R.A.P. Group, California Research and Technology Division, Princeton, New Jersey

Search for other papers by D. S. Henn in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
, and
W. S. Lewellen Department of Physics and Atmospheric Science, Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Search for other papers by W. S. Lewellen in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
Full access

Abstract

A long-range transport model based on turbulence closure concepts is described. The model extends the description of planetary boundary layer turbulent diffusion to the larger scales and uses statistical wind information to predict contaminant dispersion. The model also contains a prediction of the statistical fluctuations in the tracer concentration resulting from the unresolved velocity fluctuations. The dispersion calculation is made by means of a Lagrangian puff representation, allowing the use of time-dependent three-dimensional flow fields. Predictions of the ANATEX (Across North America Tracer Experiment) releases are compared with observations. Both 24-h average surface and short-term aircraft sampler concentrations are calculated using the high-resolution wind fields from the NMC Nested Grid Model. The statistical prediction is also tested using long-term average wind data.

Statistical uncertainty in the predictions, due to the unresolved wind fluctuations, is found to be small for the 24-h average surface concentrations obtained with the high-resolution winds but is very significant for the short-term aircraft sampler concentrations. A clipped normal probability distribution provides a reasonably good description of the overall cumulative distribution of the aircraft sampler concentrations. A reasonably good description of the 24-h surface concentrations is also obtained using only the long-term average wind statistics and a lognormal probability distribution for the concentration values.

Abstract

A long-range transport model based on turbulence closure concepts is described. The model extends the description of planetary boundary layer turbulent diffusion to the larger scales and uses statistical wind information to predict contaminant dispersion. The model also contains a prediction of the statistical fluctuations in the tracer concentration resulting from the unresolved velocity fluctuations. The dispersion calculation is made by means of a Lagrangian puff representation, allowing the use of time-dependent three-dimensional flow fields. Predictions of the ANATEX (Across North America Tracer Experiment) releases are compared with observations. Both 24-h average surface and short-term aircraft sampler concentrations are calculated using the high-resolution wind fields from the NMC Nested Grid Model. The statistical prediction is also tested using long-term average wind data.

Statistical uncertainty in the predictions, due to the unresolved wind fluctuations, is found to be small for the 24-h average surface concentrations obtained with the high-resolution winds but is very significant for the short-term aircraft sampler concentrations. A clipped normal probability distribution provides a reasonably good description of the overall cumulative distribution of the aircraft sampler concentrations. A reasonably good description of the 24-h surface concentrations is also obtained using only the long-term average wind statistics and a lognormal probability distribution for the concentration values.

Save