Boundary-Layer Meteorology

, Volume 90, Issue 1, pp 155–167

A Density Correction for Lagrangian Particle Dispersion Models

  • Andreas Stohl
  • David J. Thomson

DOI: 10.1023/A:1001741110696

Cite this article as:
Stohl, A. & Thomson, D.J. Boundary-Layer Meteorology (1999) 90: 155. doi:10.1023/A:1001741110696


Current Lagrangian particle dispersion models, used to simulate the dispersion of passive tracers in the turbulent planetary boundary layer (PBL), assume that the density is constant within the PBL. In deep PBLs, where the density at the boundary-layer top may be lower by more than 20% than at the surface, this assumption leads to errors in the tracer concentrations on the order of 10%. In the presence of a vertical wind shear, this also leads to inaccurate calculations of the horizontal tracer transport. To remove this deficiency, a Langevin equation is presented that contains a density correction term. The effect of the density correction is studied using data from a large-scale tracer experiment. It is found that for this experiment, the main effect of the density correction is an increase in the surface tracer concentrations, whereas the horizontal tracer transport patterns remain largely unaffected.

Density correction Dispersion models Lagrangian models Particle models 

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andreas Stohl
    • 1
  • David J. Thomson
    • 2
  1. 1.Lehrstuhl für Bioklimatologie und ImmissionsforschungLudwig-Maximilians-Universität MünchenFreising-WeihenstephanGermany
  2. 2.Meteorological OfficeBerkshireU.K.

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