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Air Quality Modeling

Chemical Transport Model

EPA Models-3/CMAQ System

CMAQ (Community Multiscale Air Quality) modeling system is a "third generation air quality modeling and assessment tool" designed to support air quality modeling applications for ozone, acid deposition, visibility, fine particulate and other air pollutant issues. The Center is currently performing a research funded by U.S. DOE (Department of Energy) to evaluate individual and regional coal-based power plant emissions and transport issues related to mercury, arsenic, and associated fine particulate matter in the Ohio River Valley Region.


CAMx (Comprehensive Air Modeling with Extention) is a publicly available open-source computer modeling system for the integrated assessment of gaseous, particulate, mercury and air toxics. A recent Ohio EPA grant has enabled the Center to examine the impact of SIP (State Implementation Plan) E-Check program throughout the state of Ohio using CAMx-EPS2-MM5 system.

Meteorological Modeling


The PSU/NCAR mesoscale model (known as MM5) is a nonhydrostatic model to simulate or predict mesoscale atmospheric circulation. MM5 and post-processing system have been used at the Center to provide meteorological inputs for chemical transport models such as CMAQ and CAMx.

Emissions Processing


SMOKE (Sparse Matrix Operator Kernel Emissions) modeling system is an emissions processing system and part of the Models-3 suite. It is designed to create gridded, speciated, hourly emissions for input into a variety of air quality models such as CMAQ, REMSAD, CAMX and UAM. The SMOKE system has been utilized at the Center to supports area, biogenic, mobile (both onroad and nonroad), and point source emissions processing of CMAQ for NAAQS criteria, particulate, and toxic pollutants.


EPS2 (Emissions Pre-Processing System2) is also an emission processing system and has been used at the Center to provide spatially and temporally allocated emissions input for CAMx air quality model. The Center also has expertise in on-road emissions model MOBILE6 and biogenic emissions modeling (BEIS2 and BEIS3) to provide emissions factor for the emission processing systems such as SMOKE and EPS2.

Dispersion Modeling


AREMOD, ISCST3, and ISC-PRIME are three popular U.S. EPA models. AERMOD is the next generation air dispersion model which incorporates planetary boundary layer concepts. ISCST3 (The Industrial Source Complex - Short Term regulatory air dispersion model) is a Gaussian plume model and is widely used to assess pollution concentration and/or deposition flux on receptors, from a wide variety of sources. ISC-PRIME (The Industrial Source Complex - Plume RIse Model Enhancements dispersion model) is similar to the ISCST3 model but contains enhanced building downwash analysis. The Air Quality Center has expertise in these EPA's regulatory steady-state plume modelings as well as visualization tools using Geographical Information.


CALPUFF is a puff-based dispersion model and already in use to model numerous air quality scenarios, including toxic pollutant deposition, near-field impacts from point, line, area, and volume sources, forest fire impacts, visibility assessments, and long range transport studies. The center at OU has expertise in CALPUFF modeling system with CALMET (a diagnostic 3-D meteorological model) and CALPOST (a post processing package) modules.


The NOAA's HYSPLIT (HYbrid Single-Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory) model is the newest version of a complete system for computing simple air parcel trajectories to complex dispersion and deposition simulations. The center has applied this model to evaluate long-range transport of air pollutant, potential source contribution, and point source plume dispersion modeling.