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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Regional Modeling of Windblown Dust in the Columbia Plateau and Analyses of Modeling Uncertainties

item Claiborn, Candis - WASHINGTON STATE UNIV.
item Chandler, David
item Saxton, Keith

Submitted to: Dust Aerosol, Loess Soils and Climate Change Meeting
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: October 11, 1998
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Eastern Washington periodically experiences windblown dust storms that cause exceedances of the national ambient air quality standard for particulate matter (PM-10) in the populated areas of eastern Washington and northern Idaho. As part of the Columbia Plateau PM-10 Project, a regional, three-dimensional air quality modeling system has been developed. This model is composed of a dust emission segment and a dust transport segment. Both mode segments have recently been improved, but the model predictions still require calibration to agree with air quality measurements within the region. The model was analyzed to identify sources of uncertainty in an effort to direct future research. This analysis allows research efforts to be focused on improving the model segments that generate the greatest uncertainty in the predicted dust concentrations.

Technical Abstract: A complete regional air quality model for windblown dust has been developed. The model includes a dust module which accounts for the detailed land use and soil type distributions found in the Columbia Plateau region. The model estimates indicate substantial improvements in PM-10 concentrations estimated for Spokane for a range of potential agricultural practices. There is also considerable uncertainty in the model performanc in terms of the wind fields, emissions algorithm, and deposition velocities. Further analysis of ambient PM-10 concentration patterns, simulations of other events, and Monte Carlo uncertainty tests will be the focus of research.

Last Modified: 4/22/2015
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