Article

Use of CALPUFF for exposure assessment in a near-field, complex terrain setting

Tulane University, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, New Orleans, LA 70118, USA
Atmospheric Environment (Impact Factor: 3.28). 01/2010; 44(2):262-270. DOI: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2009.09.023

ABSTRACT

CALPUFF is an atmospheric source-receptor model recommended by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for use on a case-by-case basis in complex terrain and wind conditions. The ability of the model to provide useful information for exposure assessments in areas with those topographical and meteorological conditions has received little attention. This is an important knowledge gap for use of CALPUFF outside of regulatory applications, such as exposure analyses conducted in support of risk assessments and health studies. We compared deposition of cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), and zinc (Zn) calculated with CALPUFF as a result of emissions from a zinc smelter with corresponding concentrations of the metals measured in attic dust and soil samples obtained from the surrounding area. On a point-by-point analysis, predictions from CALPUFF explained 11% (lead) to 53% (zinc) of the variability in concentrations measured in attic dust. Levels of heavy metals in soil interpolated to 100 residential addresses from the distribution of concentrations measured in soil samples also agreed well with deposition predicted with CALPUFF: R2 of 0.46, 0.76, and 079 for Pb, Cd, and Zn, respectively. Community-average concentrations of Cd, Pb, and Zn measured in soil were significantly (p < 0.0001) and strongly correlated (R2 ranged from 0.77 to 0.98) with predicted deposition rates. These findings demonstrate that CALPUFF can provide reasonably accurate predictions of the patterns of long-term air pollutant deposition in the near-field associated with emissions from a discrete source in complex terrain. Because deposition estimates are calculated as a linear function of air concentrations, CALPUFF is expected to be reliable model for prediction of long-term average, near-field ambient air concentrations in complex terrain as well.

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    • "This model contains algorithms to compute near-source effects, such as transitional plume rise, partial plume penetration, sub-grid-scale terrain interactions, sub-grid-scale coastal effects in the thermal internal boundary layer (TIBL), as well as longer-range effects, such as pollutant removal, chemical transformation, vertical wind shear, overwater transport, and coastal interactions. Therefore, CALPUFF is applied to obtain finer-scale air quality concentrations (MacIntosh et al. 2010; Yim et al. 2010), and it was adopted by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (ASG, 2012). "
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    • "(Scire et al., 2000). Although the CALPUFF model is mostly recommended for long distances scenarios, there are some exceptions for short distances where the model is reliable to measure the behaviour of pollutants in the air (Macintosh et al., 2010). In the present study CALPUFF model has been used in the coal mining zone of the department of Cesar (Colombia), where the local weather is influenced by the mountain-savannah relationship. "
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