AERMOD Versus CTDMPLUS: A Complex Terrain Case Study

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Courtesy of Weston Solutions, Inc


The American Meteorological Society/U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (AMS/EPA) Regulatory Model Improvement Committee (AERMIC) has updated the Industrial Source Complex (ISC) air dispersion model. The AERMIC model (AERMOD) is capable of predicting ambient pollutant concentrations in simple terrain and elevated terrain. The complex terrain capabilities of AERMOD are of particular interest since the U. S. EPA's refined complex terrain model, Complex Terrain Dispersion Model Plus Algorithms for Unstable Conditions (CTDMPLUS), requires an extensive and sophisticated array of input data. This paper is a comparison between the two models and their predicted short-term concentrations at complex terrain receptors. Specifically, one-hour maximum concentrations are compared. In addition, the terrain and meteorological data preprocessing capabilities of each model are evaluated. The source information for the modeling analysis being described in this paper is for a fictitious facility. The information for this modeling analysis consists of meteorological data collected from a multi-level tower at a facility located in complex terrain. While real meteorological and terrain data are used, the source information was created to simplify the analysis.

There is no reference to the actual data collection site anywhere in this paper or in the associated model runstreams. This was done to protect the anonymity of the location of the data.

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