Inderscience Publishers

Effects of nocturnal thermal circulation and boundary layer structure on pollutant dispersion in complex terrain areas: a case study

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For air quality models, it is important that the meteorological fields derived from meteorological models reflect the best characterisation of the atmosphere. Under strongly thermally–stratified conditions, the determining factors are turbulent kinetic energy and surface layer parameterisations. In this study, the 5th generation Mesoscale Model (MM5) and the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) meteorological models, with different Planetary Boundary Layer (PBL) schemes, were run under very stable conditions and checked against available information over the Duero basin in the Iberian Peninsula. WRF seemed to produce results closer to the observations, as statistical parameters indicate. Models were also coupled to the Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) model in order to analyse the influence of the parameterisations on air pollutant distribution.

Keywords: complex terrain, drainage winds, mesoscale models, nocturnal boundary layer parameterisations, pollutant dispersion, nocturnal thermal circulation, boundary layer structure, dispersion modelling, air quality, air pollution

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