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Project ID: 12-3-01-6

Year: 2012

Date Started: 07/01/2012

Date Completed: 09/29/2013

Title: Sensitivity Analysis of Air Quality to Meteorological Data in Fire Simulations

Project Proposal Abstract: The objective of this project is to calculate the sensitivities of pollutant concentrations, predicted with air quality models, to meteorological inputs and apply these estimates to quantify meteorology-related uncertainty in fire simulations. The results of this work will determine the degree to which air quality simulations are presently constrained by the uncertainty in meteorological fields produced by weather forecasting models. Specifically, the sensitivities of fine particulate matter concentrations to wind velocity (speed and direction), boundary layer height, and meteorological data resolution (temporal and spatial) will be analyzed. The uncertainty in weather forecasting model results will be assessed and applied to evaluate the meteorology-related uncertainty in air quality simulations of vegetative-burning. Several smoke episodes affecting urban areas in the Southeast U.S. will be simulated using the Community Multiscale Air Quality modeling system (CMAQ) and Weather Research and Forecasting model (WRF). Sensitivities of modeled PM2.5 concentrations to meteorological inputs will be quantified by using a second-order accurate estimate of first-order sensitivities derived from the central difference method adequate for primary pollutants. The uncertainties in meteorological inputs into air quality simulations will be assessed by evaluating the weather forecasts produced by WRF for the selected smoke episodes and used in conjunction with the sensitivity approximations for pollutant concentrations in air quality modeling to determine the range of meteorology-related uncertainties in the predicted pollutant levels. The project is expected to provide land-managers better understanding of air quality model results and identify research needs towards effective simulations of fire impacts.

Principal Investigator: Mehmet T. Odman

Agency/Organization: Georgia Institute of Technology

Branch or Dept: School of Civil & Environmental Engineering

Other Project Collaborators




Branch or Dept

Agreements Contact

Teri H. Hansen

Georgia Institute of Technology

Office of Sponsored Programs

Budget Contact

Teri H. Hansen

Georgia Institute of Technology

Office of Sponsored Programs

Student Investigator

Fernando Garcia Menendez

North Carolina State University-Raleigh

College of Engineering

Project Locations

Fire Science Exchange Network




Great Basin

Great Plains

Lake States

Oak Woodlands

Northern Rockies




Southern Rockies










Project Deliverables

Final Report view or print

("Results presented in JFSP Final Reports may not have been peer-reviewed and should be interpreted as tentative until published in a peer-reviewed source.")

  ID Type Title
view or print   94 Ph.D. Dissertation High-resolution 3-dimensional plume modeling with Eulerian atmospheric chemistry & transport models
view or print go to website 3434 Journal Article EM Magazine, a publication of the Air & Waste Management Association
view or print go to website 3417 Journal Article Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
view or print   7150 Final Report Supplement Mid-Project Progress Report
view or print   7151 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Sensitivity Analyses of Model-Related Inputs in Wildland Fire Simulations using CMAQ
view or print   7152 Conference/Symposia/Workshop High Resolution Three-Dimensional Modeling with an Adaptive Grid Regional-Scale Air Quality Model

Supporting Documents

There are no supporting documents available for this project.

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