CERC's consultancy team, with GT Science & Software Ltd, has carried out a High Level Review of the Sensitivity of Dispersion Model Predictions to Individual Source Term Parameters. The work was funded by the UK Atmospheric Dispersion Modelling Liaison Committee (ADMLC) and the report is freely available here.
Defining source terms is an essential part of dispersion modelling. A substance can be released into the atmosphere in many different ways, particularly in accidental release situations. It is important to have an understanding of the sensitivity of the model results to each of the source term input parameters.
The review discusses the main issues of source term sensitivity, describes a range of commonly-used dispersion models, and presents the results of detailed sensitivity tests. The source terms examined in the review include evaporating pools, pressurised catastrophic failures, jet releases, spray releases, warehouse fires and pool fires.
In February, CERC held a workshop in Cambridge, UK, attended by over thirty delegates from local authorities and consultancies.
The workshop comprised presentations from CERC consultancy staff and external speakers, as well as breakout discussion sessions. Subjects presented during the day included:
The discussion sessions opened channels of communication, sparking lively debate.
The workshop was a great success and CERC hopes to run a similar event in the near future. If you are interested in attending a workshop in future, please contact CERC. Also, see our web site for more information about CERC's training courses.
Feedback from delegates who attended the workshop:
Very useful as a consultant to be better aware of what local authorities require. And making sure a robust assessment is being prepared.
Very helpful and relevant to my daily work tasks. The interactions and discussion sessions were really useful.
Topics and content very relevant and focused ‑ extremely useful.
Every element was relevant and very informative. I wanted to understand more about modelling, and now I do. I feel I will be able to be a better air quality officer now!
There is a new version of ADMS 5 available, which is a minor update to version 5.2 released last November. The new release includes the latest versions of AERMOD (16216r) and AERMET (16216) as released by the US-EPA. View the readme document for further details about the update.
Current users should login to the User Area to download either the patch or the full install. If you already have ADMS 5.2 installed, you need only download the patch to update your existing installation.
CERC have been collaborating on a project to study ambient air quality across Cambridge using a large number of sensor nodes and computer modelling. 20 AQMesh sensor pods have been placed at key points around Cambridge (see top picture), measuring air quality in near real time. Comparisons against a reference instrument give very encouraging results, as shown in a paper recently presented by Professor Rod Jones of the University of Cambridge.
The next steps are to compare collected AQMesh data with ADMS-Urban modelled data for the same area and then use the real-time AQMesh data to improve CERC's air quality forecasts for Cambridge. This would demonstrate the potential to improve services such as the Mayor of London's public notifications during high pollution episodes, which are displayed at Tube stations, bus stops (see bottom picture), river piers and on digital signs along major roads, and which use a three-day ahead air pollution forecast provided by CERC's airTEXT forecasts for London.
Recent disasters in Malaysia have revealed poor coordination and weak capacity in prediction of floods and landslides and there is concern over the occurrences of strong winds, air pollution (haze) and extreme temperatures. Development of forecasting capacity is now important for major cities, particularly in view of climate change. CERC have joined a consortium of 16 research and business organisations, 6 from the UK and 10 from Malaysia, in a project to customise climate and hazard models from the UK to forecast physical hazards common in Kuala Lumpur i.e. flash floods & floods, landslides, sinkholes, strong winds, urban heat and local air pollution; test their viability; develop a prototype multi-hazard platform for managing and communicating risks to enhance disaster resilience; and promote the platform through outreach and marketing. This 34-month project is funded jointly by the UK and Malaysian governments through the Newton-Ungku Omar Fund, and is led by the University of Cambridge and SEADPRI-UKM.
The image above (larger version) shows how CERC’s local models ADMS-Urban and ADMS Temperature and Humidity will be coupled to regional models to forecast atmospheric hazards such as extreme temperatures, air pollution and haze.