Natural Hazards

, Volume 88, Issue 3, pp 1893–1901 | Cite as

Assessment of the plume dispersion due to chemical attack on April 4, 2017, in Syria

  • Kiran BhaganagarEmail author
  • Sudheer R. Bhimireddy
Short Communication


A numerical investigation has been performed using Weather Research and Forecasting model to determine the role of atmospheric factors that influenced the dispersion of the chemical plume released on the fateful date of April 4, 2017, at 6.30 a.m. in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in northwestern region of Syria. The plume has been approximated as an inert tracer and the effect of meteorological and topographical conditions on the plume dispersion has been studied. The results have shown that the released plume formed a thin layer up to 100 m above the surface known a “fumigation plume”. The plume spreads radially, undiluted to distance of 7.9 and 19.3 km at 1 and 2 h, respectively, after the initial release. Due to change to convective atmospheric stability conditions, the turbulence convective eddies dilutes the plume. The atmospheric stability conditions in the next 2 h were critical in dispersing the plume. The study motivates the importance of estimating short-term transport of the plume in health-, safety- and evacuation-management.


Chemical plume Atmospheric pollution Plume tracking WRF model Syria Chemical attack 2017 Early Warfare Detection 



Funding for the research has been provided by Department of Army, Edgewood Chemical and Biological Center, Aberdeen, Maryland, USA under the Grant MSRDC D01_W911SR-14-2-0001-0006.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of TexasSan AntonioUSA

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