Title: Characterising uncertainty in plume dispersion models

Authors: John S. Irwin, Steven R. Hanna

Addresses: John S. Irwin and Associates, 1900 Pony Run Road, Raleigh, NC 27615–7415, USA. ' Hanna Consultants, 7 Crescent Avenue, Kennebunkport, ME 04046, USA

Abstract: For management decisions related to effects of releases of toxic chemicals, it is useful to consider not only the expected or most likely impact of the release, but also the envelope of possible outcomes, the latter of which involves an assessment of the uncertainty in the modelling results. In this paper, we provide quantitative estimates of major sources of uncertainty in plume dispersion modelling and then provide a preliminary assessment of their effects. The sources of uncertainty investigated are wind speed and direction, plume rise, dispersion parameters, and stochastic effects not simulated by dispersion models.

Keywords: air dispersion modelling; uncertainty characterisation; toxic chemicals; plume dispersion models; simulation; wind speed; wind direction; plume rise; dispersion parameters, stochastic effects; air pollution; air quality; crosswind concentration profile.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEP.2005.007651

International Journal of Environment and Pollution, 2005 Vol.25 No.1/2/3/4, pp.16 - 24

Published online: 31 Aug 2005 *

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