Cambridge Environmental Research Consultants (CERC)

ADMLC report on source term sensitivity in dispersion models

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CERC's consultancy team, with GT Science & Software Ltd, has carried out a High Level Review of the Sensitivity of Dispersion Model Predictions to Individual Source Term Parameters. The work was funded by the UK Atmospheric Dispersion Modelling Liaison Committee (ADMLC).

Defining source terms is an essential part of dispersion modelling. A substance can be released into the atmosphere in many different ways, particularly in accidental release situations. It is important to have an understanding of the sensitivity of the model results to each of the source term input parameters.

The review discusses the main issues of source term sensitivity, describes a range of commonly-used dispersion models, and presents the results of detailed sensitivity tests. The source terms examined in the review include evaporating pools, pressurised catastrophic failures, jet releases, spray releases, warehouse fires and pool fires.

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