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Modeling Smoke Plume-Rise and Dispersion from Southern United States Prescribed Burns with Daysmoke

Author(s): Gary L. Achtemeier | Scott A. Goodrick | Yongqiang Liu | Fernando Garcia-Menendez | Yongtao Hu | Mehmet Talat Odman

Journal: Atmosphere
ISSN 2073-4433

Volume: 2;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 358;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: smoke | prescribed fires | plume model | air quality

We present Daysmoke, an empirical-statistical plume rise and dispersion model for simulating smoke from prescribed burns. Prescribed fires are characterized by complex plume structure including multiple-core updrafts which makes modeling with simple plume models difficult. Daysmoke accounts for plume structure in a three-dimensional veering/sheering atmospheric environment, multiple-core updrafts, and detrainment of particulate matter. The number of empirical coefficients appearing in the model theory is reduced through a sensitivity analysis with the Fourier Amplitude Sensitivity Test (FAST). Daysmoke simulations for “bent-over” plumes compare closely with Briggs theory although the two-thirds law is not explicit in Daysmoke. However, the solutions for the “highly-tilted” plume characterized by weak buoyancy, low initial vertical velocity, and large initial plume diameter depart considerably from Briggs theory. Results from a study of weak plumes from prescribed burns at Fort Benning GA showed simulated ground-level PM2.5 comparing favorably with observations taken within the first eight kilometers of eleven prescribed burns. Daysmoke placed plume tops near the lower end of the range of observed plume tops for six prescribed burns. Daysmoke provides the levels and amounts of smoke injected into regional scale air quality models. Results from CMAQ with and without an adaptive grid are presented.
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