, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 429-456

Particulate dispersion into and within a forest

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Abstract

Particulate dispersion into and within a 10- to 13-m tall pine forest was studied experimentally at Brookhaven National Laboratory using stained ragweed pollen and other tracers ranging from 14 to 54 Μm in diam. Seventy-two continuous point source releases lasting 20 to 40 min were made at various distances from within the forest edge to 60 m upwind and at heights of 1.75 to 14.0 m. In most experiments, differently colored ragweed pollen was released simultaneously from three locations. Thirty-six longer tests were made using pollen from area sources of ragweed and three with pollen from distant sources. All tests were made during the day with steady winds and unstable lapse rates outside the forest. The sampling network consisted of 119 rotoslide samplers mounted at heights from 0.5 to 21.0 m at 57 positions extending 100 m into the forest. Deposition was sampled by greased microscope slides at each sampling position. Meteorological measurements were taken in and near the forest.

Data were classified by particle characteristics; by source type, distance and height; and by meteorological parameters. Isopleths were drawn on scale diagrams of the sampling grid to illustrate concentration patterns. Changes in centerline concentration, crosswind integrated concentration, mass flux, plume width, plume height, deposition, and deposition velocity were related to distance within the forest and other variables. Results were compared to those of similar releases over open terrain and those of previous forest dispersion studies elsewhere.

The plume approaching the forest is broadened both vertically and horizontally by increased turbulence at the forest edge and flows mainly into the trunk space and above the forest. Lateral spread is slow within the forest, but vertical spreading beyond the entrance region is greater than in the open. Particles become mixed uniformly below the canopy while appreciable interchange takes place through this layer. Concentration within the forest decreases at a faster rate than in the open, but change in total mass flux within and above the forest is not significantly different. Loss of material takes place by impaction near the forest edge and in the tree tops and by deposition within the forest. Most loss takes place to the foliage rather than the ground, and larger particles are lost faster than smaller ones.

This research was carried out under the auspices of the New York State Museum and Science Service and the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission and was partially supported by Research Grant No. R-800677 from the Division of Meteorology, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.