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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: INCORPORATION OF THE WIND EROSION PREDICTION SYSTEM (WEPS) WITHIN A COMPREHENSIVE REGIONAL AIR QUALITY MODEL

Location: Engineering and Wind Erosion Research Unit

Project Number: 5430-11120-009-07
Project Type: Reimbursable

Start Date: Oct 01, 2009
End Date: May 14, 2012

Objective:
In this proposal, we seek to take advantage of the inherent physics in WEPS to produce a windblown dust emissions module for PM10, PMcoarse, and PM2.5 that can be employed within the WRF-CMAQ framework and to demonstrate and evaluate the application of WEPS via the AIRPACT-3 modeling system. This will be an important improvement for our region and the new WEPS-CMAQ module will be applicable across the U.S. wherever CMAQ is used for air quality modeling. This proposal directly addresses the USDA NRI Air Quality priorities related to better emissions estimates for agricultural activities and also a better understanding of the fate and transport of PM. The research will involve development of a WEPS-CMAQ module, testing of the module within the AIRPACT-3 system applied to historical dust events as well as to ongoing daily operations. Special field measurements will be conducted to obtain new PM mass and size distribution data during periods of high winds. Our overall goal is to improve our understanding of the role of windblown dust in regional air quality and to develop new capabilities for treating windblown dust within a comprehensive regional air quality modeling system. The end results of this work will be an improved way to treat windblown dust within a widely used air quality model and a better understanding of the nature and extent of windblown dust as one of the many potential impacts of agricultural activities upon air quality.

Approach:
WEPS needs three enhancements to work within AIRPACT-3: 1) providing the ability to “save the state” of the system on any given day and be able to start the system from any given “saved state”; 2) provide the ability to run an arbitrary length of time in days, rather than years; and 3) include a PMcourse and PM2.5 emissions output component. In addition, the ability to input data in formats native to CMAQ will also be required.

Last Modified: 7/24/2014
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