Main content area

A Case Study of the Weather Research and Forecasting Model Applied to the Joint Urban 2003 Tracer Field Experiment. Part 2: Gas Tracer Dispersion

Nelson, Matthew A., Brown, Michael J., Halverson, Scot A., Bieringer, Paul E., Annunzio, Andrew, Bieberbach, George, Meech, Scott
Boundary-layer meteorology 2016 v.161 no.3 pp. 461-490
case studies, energy, field experimentation, simulation models, turbulent flow, weather research and forecasting model, wind direction
The Quick Urban & Industrial Complex (QUIC) atmospheric transport, and dispersion modelling, system was evaluated against the Joint Urban 2003 tracer-gas measurements. This was done using the wind and turbulence fields computed by the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. We compare the simulated and observed plume transport when using WRF-model-simulated wind fields, and local on-site wind measurements. Degradation of the WRF-model-based plume simulations was cased by errors in the simulated wind direction, and limitations in reproducing the small-scale wind-field variability. We explore two methods for importing turbulence from the WRF model simulations into the QUIC system. The first method uses parametrized turbulence profiles computed from WRF-model-computed boundary-layer similarity parameters; and the second method directly imports turbulent kinetic energy from the WRF model. Using the WRF model’s Mellor-Yamada-Janjic boundary-layer scheme, the parametrized turbulence profiles and the direct import of turbulent kinetic energy were found to overpredict and underpredict the observed turbulence quantities, respectively. Near-source building effects were found to propagate several km downwind. These building effects and the temporal/spatial variations in the observed wind field were often found to have a stronger influence over the lateral and vertical plume spread than the intensity of turbulence. Correcting the WRF model wind directions using a single observational location improved the performance of the WRF-model-based simulations, but using the spatially-varying flow fields generated from multiple observation profiles generally provided the best performance.