Environmental Fluid Mechanics

, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp 143–169

Filament-Based Atmospheric Dispersion Model to Achieve Short Time-Scale Structure of Odor Plumes


  • Jay A. Farrell
    • Department of Electrical EngineeringUniversity of California
  • John Murlis
    • School of Public PolicyUniversity College London
  • Xuezhu Long
    • School of Public PolicyUniversity College London
  • Wei Li
    • Department of Computer ScienceCalifornia State University
  • Ring T. Cardé
    • Department of EntomologyUniversity of California

DOI: 10.1023/A:1016283702837

Cite this article as:
Farrell, J.A., Murlis, J., Long, X. et al. Environmental Fluid Mechanics (2002) 2: 143. doi:10.1023/A:1016283702837


This article presents the theoretical motivation, implementation approach, and example validation results for a computationally efficient plume simulation model, designed to replicate both the short-term time signature and long-term exposure statistics of a chemical plume evolving in a turbulent flow. Within the resulting plume, the odor concentration is intermittent with rapidly changing spatial gradient. The model includes a wind field defined over the region of interest that is continuous, but which varies with location and time in both magnitude and direction. The plume shape takes a time varying sinuous form that is determined by the integrated effect of the wind field. Simulated and field data are compared. The motivation for the development of such a simulation model was the desire to evaluate various strategies for tracing odor plumes to their source, under identical conditions. The performance of such strategies depends in part on the instantaneous response of target receptors; therefore, the sequence of events is of considerable consequence and individual exemplar plume realizations are required. Due to the high number of required simulations, computational efficiency was critically important.

chemical plume tracingodor dispersion modelpheromone dispersion
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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002