Modeling passive scalar dispersion in the atmospheric boundary layer with WRF large-eddy simulation

Nottrott, A, Kleissl J, Keeling R.  2014.  Modeling passive scalar dispersion in the atmospheric boundary layer with WRF large-eddy simulation. Atmospheric Environment. 82:172-182.

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Atmospheric boundary layer, buoyancy-driven, Concentration fluctuations, convectively mixed-layer, dispersion, field, large-eddy simulation, passive scalar, plume dispersion, shear-driven, wrf model


The ability of the Weather Research and Forecasting, large-eddy simulation model (WRF-LES) to model passive scalar dispersion from continuous sources in convective and neutral atmospheric boundary layers was investigated. WRF-LES accurately modeled mean plume trajectories and concentration fields. WRF-LES statistics of concentration fluctuations in the daytime convective boundary layer were similar to data obtained from laboratory experiments and other LES models. However, poor turbulence resolution near the surface in neutral boundary layer simulations caused under prediction of mean dispersion in the crosswind horizontal direction and over prediction of concentration variance in the neutral surface layer. A gradient in the intermittency factor for concentration fluctuations was observed near the surface, downwind of ground-level sources in the daytime boundary layer. That observation suggests that the intermittency factor is a promising metric for estimating source-sensor distance in source determination applications. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.