Environmental Fluid Mechanics

, Volume 6, Issue 5, pp 425–450 | Cite as

Multiscale Plume Transport from the Collapse of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001

  • Georgiy Stenchikov
  • Nilesh Lahoti
  • David J. Diner
  • Ralph Kahn
  • Paul J. Lioy
  • Panos G. Georgopoulos
Original Article

Abstract

The collapse of the world trade center (WTC) produced enhanced levels of airborne contaminants in New York City and nearby areas on September 11, 2001 through December, 2001. This catastrophic event revealed the vulnerability of the urban environment, and the inability of many existing air monitoring systems to operate efficiently in a crisis. The contaminants released circulated within the street canyons, but were also lifted above the urban canopy and transported over large distances, reflecting the fact that pollutant transport affects multiple scales, from single buildings through city blocks to mesoscales. In this study, ground-and space-based observations were combined with numerical weather forecast fields to initialize fine-scale numerical simulations. The effort is aimed at reconstructing pollutant dispersion from the WTC in New York City to surrounding areas, to provide means for eventually evaluating its effect on population and environment. Atmospheric dynamics were calculated with the multi-grid Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (RAMS), covering scales from 250 m to 300 km and contaminant transport was studied using the Hybrid Particle and Concentration Transport (HYPACT) model that accepts RAMS meteorological output. The RAMS/HYPACT results were tested against PM2.5 observations from the roofs of public schools in New York City (NYC), Landsat images, and Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) retrievals. Calculations accurately reproduced locations and timing of PM2.5 peak aerosol concentrations, as well as plume directionality. By comparing calculated and observed concentrations, the effective magnitude of the aerosol source was estimated. The simulated pollutant distributions are being used to characterize levels of human exposure and associated environmental health impacts.

Keywords

Aerosol plume Particulate matter Transport Urban pollution Regional Atmospheric Modeling System Hybrid Particle and Concentration Transport Model Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer World Trade Center 9/11 Terrorist attack 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Lioy PJ, Weisel CP, Millette JR, Eisenreich S, Vallero D, Offenberg J, Buckley B, Turpin B, Zhong MH, Cohen MD, Prophete C, Yang I, Stiles R, Chee G, Johnson W, Porcja R, Alimokhtari S, Hale RC, Weschler C, Chen LC (2002) Characterization of the dust/smoke aerosol that settled east of the world trade center (WTC) in Lower Manhattan after the collapse of the WTC 11 September 2001. Environ Health Perspect 110:703–714Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Landrigan PJ, Lioy PJ, Thurston G, Berkowitz G, Chen LC, Chillrud SN, Gavett SH, Georgopoulos PG, Geyh AS, Levin S, Perera F, Rappaport SM, Small C (2004) Health and environmental consequences of the WTC disaster. Environ Health Perspect 112:731–739CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Huber A, Georgopoulos P, Gilliam R, Stenchikov G, Wang S-W, Kelly B, Feingersh H (2004) Modeling air pollution from the collapse of the WTC and assessing the potential impacts on human exposures. Environ Manage. February 2004:35–40Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    USEPA (2003) EPA Acid Rain Program 2002 Progress Report EPA-430-R-03-011. Washington, D. C: US Environmental Protection Agency. Clean Air Markets Division, Office of Air and RadiationGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bornstein RD, Johnson DS (1977) Urban rural wind velocity differences. Atmos Environ 11:597–604CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Bornstein RD, Thunis P, Schayes G (1994). Observation and simulation of urban-topography barrier effects on boundary layer structure using the three-dimensional TVM/URBMET model. In: Gryning S-E, Millán MM (eds). Air pollution and its Application X. Plenum Press, New York, pp. 101–108Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Dickerson RR, Kondragunta S, Stenchikov G, Civerolo KL, Doddridge BG, Holben BN (1997) The impact of aerosols on solar ultraviolet radiation and photochemical smog. Science 278:827–830CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Malm WC, Schichtel BA, Ames RB, Gebhart KA (2002) A 10-year spatial and temporal trend of sulfate across the United States. J Geophys Res 107:4627CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Malm WC, Sisler JF, Huffman D, Eldred RA, Cahill TA (1994) Spatial and seasonal trends in particle concentration and optical extinction in the United States. J Geophys Res-Atmos 99:1347–1370CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Marufu LT, Taubman BF, Bloomer B, Piety CA, Doddridge BG, Stehr JW, Dickerson RR (2004) The 2003 North American electrical blackout: An accidental experiment in atmospheric chemistry. Geophys Res Lett 31:L13106CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Ryan WF, Doddridge BG, Dickerson RR, Morales RM, Hallock KA, Roberts PT, Blumenthal DL, Anderson JA (1998) Pollutant transport during a regional O-3 episode in the mid-Atlantic states. J Air Waste Manage Assoc 48:786–797Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Taubman BF, Marufu LT, Piety CA, Doddridge BG, Stehr JW, Dickerson RR (2004) Airborne characterization of the chemical, optical, and meteorological properties, and origins of a combined ozone-haze episode over the eastern United States. J Atmos Sci 61:1781–1793CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Klemp JB, Wilhelmson RB (1978) The simulation of three-dimensional convective storm dynamics. J Atmos Sci 35:1070–1096CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Rehm RG, Pitts WM, Baum HR, Evans DD, Prasad K, McGrattan KB, Forney GP (2003) Initial Model for Fires in the world trade center Towers. In: Evans DD (ed) Fire Safety Science—Proceedings of the Seventh International Symposium. International Association for Fire Safety Science, Boston, MA, pp 25–40Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Cotton WR, Pielke RA, Walko RL, Liston GE, Tremback CJ, Jiang H, McAnelly RL, Harrington JY, Nicholls ME, Carrio GG, McFadden JP (2003) RAMS 2001: Current status and future directions. Meteorol Atmos Phys 82:5–29CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Pielke RA, Cotton WR, Walko RL, Tremback CJ, Lyons WA, Crasso LD, Nicholls ME, Moran MD, Wesley DA, Lee TJ, Copeland JH (1992) A comprehensive meteorological modeling system—RAMS. Meteorol Atmos Phys 49:69–91CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Tripoli GJ, Cotton WR (1982) The Colorado state university three-dimensional cloud/mesoscale model—1982. part I: general theoretical framework and sensitivity experiments. J de Recherches Atmos 16:185–220Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Gal-Chen T, Somerville RCJ (1975) On the use of a coordinate transformation for the solution of the Navier-Stokes equations. J Comput Phys 17:209–228CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Davies HC (1976) A lateral boundary formulation for multi-level prediction models. Q J Roy Meteorol Soc 102:405–418CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Clark TL, Farley RD (1984) Severe downslope windstorm calculations in two and three spatial dimensions using anelastic interactive grid nesting: a possible mechanism for gustiness. J Atmos Sci 41:329–350CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Mellor GL, Yamada T (1974) A hierarchy of turbulence closure models for planetary boundary layers. J Atmos Sci 31:1791–1806CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Mellor GL, Yamada T (1982) Development of a turbulence closure model for geophysical fluid problems. Rev Geophys Space Phys 20:851–875Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Smagorinsky J (1963) General circulation experiments with the primitive equations. Part I: the basic experiment. Mon Weather Rev 91:99–164Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Harrington JY (1997) The effects of radiative and microphysical processes on simulated warm and transition season Arctic stratus. Ph.D. Dissertation, Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State UniversityGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Kuo HL (1974) Further studies of the parameterization of the influence of cumulus convection on large-scale flow. J Atmos Sci 31:1232–1240CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Fritsch JM, Chappell CF (1980) Numerical prediction of convectively driven mesoscale pressure systems. part I: convective parameterization. J Atmos Sci 37:1722–1733CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Tremback CJ (1990) Numerical simulation of a mesoscale convective complex: Model development and numerical results. Ph.D. Dissertation, Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State UniversityGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Kain JS, Fritsch JM (1990) A one-dimensional entraining/detraining plume model and its application in convective parameterization. J Atmos Sci 47:2784–2802CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Kain JS, Fritsch JM (1993). Convective parameterization for mesoscale models: The Kain-Fritsch scheme. In: Emanuel KA, Raymond DJ (eds). The representation of cumulus convection in numerical models. American Meteorological Society, Boston, MA, pp. 165–170Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Miguez-Macho G, Stenchikov GL, Robock A (2005) Regional climate simulations over North America: interaction of local processes with improved large-scale flow. J Clim 18:1227–1246CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Tripoli GJ, Cotton WR (1980) A numerical investigation of several factors contributing to the observed variable intensity of deep convection over south Florida. J Appl Meteorol 19:1037–1063CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Cotton WR, Stephens MA, Nehrkorn T, Tripoli GJ (1982) The Colorado State University three-dimensional cloud/mesoscale model 1982—part II: an ice phase parameterization. J de Recherches Atmos 16:295–320Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Walko RL, Band LE, Baron J, Kittel TGF, Lammers R, Lee TJ, Ojima D, Pielke RA, Taylor C, Tague C, Tremback CJ, Vidale PL (2000) Coupled atmosphere-biophysics-hydrology models for environmental modeling. J Appl Meteorol 39:931–944CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Carmichael GR, Calori G, Hayami H, Uno I, Cho SY, Engardt M, Kim SB, Ichikawa Y, Ikeda Y, Woo JH, Ueda H, Amann M (2002) The MICS-Asia study: model intercomparison of long-range transport and sulfur deposition in east Asia. Atmos Environ 36:175–199CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Varinou M, Kallos G, Tsiligiridis G, Sistla G (1999) The role of anthropogenic and biogenic emissions on tropospheric ozone formation over Greece. Phys Chem Earth Part C-Solar-Terrestial Planet Sci 24:507–513CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Fast JD, Doran JC, Shaw WJ, Coulter RL, Martin TJ (2000) The evolution of the boundary layer and its effect on air chemistry in the Phoenix area. J Geophys Res-Atmos 105:22833–22848CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Miguez-Macho G, Stenchikov GL, Robock A (2004) Spectral nudging to eliminate the effects of domain position and geometry in regional climate model simulations. J Geophys Res-Atmos 109: D13104CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Reynolds RW, Rayner NA, Smith TM, Stokes DC, Wang W (2002) An improved in situ and satellite SST analysis for climate. J Clim 15:1609–1625CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Bernstein RL (1982) Sea surface temperature estimation using the NOAA 6 satellite advanced very high resolution radiometer. J Geophys Res 87:9455–9465CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Mesinger F, Janjic ZI, Nickovic S, Gavrilov D, Deaven DG (1988) The step-mountain coordinate: model description and performance for cases of Alpine lee cyclogenesis and for a case of an Appalachian redevelopment. Mon Weather Rev 116:1493–1518CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Rogers E, Black TL, Deaven DG, DiMego GJ, Zhao QY, Baldwin M, Junker NW, Lin Y (1996) Changes to the operational “early” eta analysis/forecast system at the national centers for environmental prediction. Weather Forecasting 11:391–413CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Boughton BA, Delaurentis JM, Dunn WE (1987) A stochastic model of particle dispersion in the atmosphere. Bound-Lay Meteorol 40:147–163CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Oktay SD, Brabander DJ, Smith JP, Kada J, Bullen T, Olsen CR (2003) WTC Geochemical fingerprint recorded in New York harbor sediments. EOS Trans Am Geophys Union 84:21Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    Monin AS (1959) On the boundary condition on the earth surface for diffusing pollution. Adv Geophys 6:435–436Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    Huber A, Freeman M, Spencer R, Bell B, Kuehlert K, Schwartz W (2005) Applications of CFD simulations of pollutant transport and dispersion within ambient urban building environments: including homeland security. In: Annual Conference of the Air & Waste Management Association, Minneapolis, MN, June 21–24, 2005Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    Lioy PJ, Georgopoulos PG (2006) The anatomy of the exposures that occurred around the world trade center site: 9–11 and beyond. New York Academy of Sciences In PressGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Lioy PJ, Weisel C, Georgopoulos PG (2005). An overview of the environmental conditions and human exposures that occurred post 9–11 (Chap 2). In: Gaffney JS, Marley NA (eds). Urban Aerosols and Their Impacts: Lessons Learned from the World Trade Center Tragedy. American Chemical Society, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Diner DJ, Beckert JC, Reilly TH, Bruegge CJ, Conel JE, Kahn RA, Martonchik JV, Ackerman TP, Davies R, Gerstl SAW, Gordon HR, Muller JP, Myneni RB, Sellers PJ, Pinty B, Verstraete MM (1998) Multi-angle imaging spectroradiometer (MISR)—instrument description and experiment overview. IEEE Trans Geosci Remote Sens 36:1072–1087CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Kahn R, Banerjee P, McDonald D (2001) Sensitivity of multiangle imaging to natural mixtures of aerosols over ocean. J Geophys Res-Atmos 106:18219–18238CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    Moroney C, Davies R, Muller JP (2002) Operational retrieval of cloud-top heights using MISR data. IEEE Trans Geosci Remote Sens 40:1532–1540CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    Muller JP, Mandanayake A, Moroney C, Davies R, Diner DJ, Paradise S (2002) MISR stereoscopic image matchers: techniques and results. IEEE Trans Geosci Remote Sens 40:1547–1559CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Georgiy Stenchikov
    • 1
  • Nilesh Lahoti
    • 2
    • 3
  • David J. Diner
    • 4
  • Ralph Kahn
    • 4
  • Paul J. Lioy
    • 2
    • 3
  • Panos G. Georgopoulos
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Environmental SciencesRutgers UniversityNew BrunswickUSA
  2. 2.Department of Environmental and Occupational MedicineUMDNJ—R.W. Johnson Medical SchoolPiscatawayUSA
  3. 3.Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences InstituteUMDNJ—R.W. Johnson Medical School & Rutgers UniversityPiscatawayUSA
  4. 4.Jet Propulsion LaboratoryCalifornia Institute of TechnologyPasadenaUSA

Personalised recommendations