Development and Validation of a Multi-Source Plume Downwash Model

  • Jawad S. Touma
  • Yi-Hui Huang
  • Hua Wang
  • John H. Christiansen
Part of the NATO · Challenges of Modern Society book series (NATS, volume 3)


The objective of this study is to develop and validate a plume downwash model using site-specific plant operating data, meteorological data, and sulfur dioxide monitoring data at a multi-source power generating complex in Michigan. The base model selected in U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Gaussian-Plume Multiple Source Air Quality Algorithm (RAM). This model is modified to include plume downwash algorithms developed by Briggs and Huber. During the course of the model validation study, the accuracy and reliability of the modified base model are assessed by alternating various modeling parameters and algorithms, such as (a) Pasquill-Gifford, Brookhaven and Huber dispersion coefficients; (b) Briggs trajectory and final plume rise formulae; (c) treatment of plume rise enhanced dispersion suggested by Pasquill and Irwin; (d) treatment of plume partial inversion penetration by Briggs; etc.

The evaluation of model performance focuses on assessing the validity and accuracy of model predictions in comparison with the field measurements. Emphases are placed on the adequacy of physical representation of various segments that comprise the model for assessing its validity, and various statistical comparisons between predicted and measured concentrations for assessing its accuracy. An improved plume downwash model has been developed as a result of this study.


Dispersion Coefficient Atmospheric Dispersion Plume Height Cumulative Frequency Distribution Plume Rise 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Turner, D. B.: Workbook of Atmospheric Dispersion Estimates, AP-26, Office of Air Programs, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, 1970.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Briggs, G. A.: Plume Rise, AEC Critical Review Series, TID25075, U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, 1969.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Briggs, G. A.: “Some Recent Analyses fo Plume Rise Observations”, Proceedings of the Second International Clean Air Congress, Academic Press, pp. 1029–1032, 1971.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Briggs, G. A.: “Discussion of Chimney Plumes in Neutral and Stable Surroundings”, Atmospheric Environment, Volume 16, pp. 507–510, 1972.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Calder, K. L.: “A Climatological Model for Multiple Urban Air Pollution”, Proceedings of the First Meeting of the NATO/CCMS Panel on Air Pollution Modeling, 1971.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Bierly, E. W. and E. W. Hewson: “Some Restrictive Meteorological Conditions to be Considered in the Design of Stacks”, Journal of Applied Meteoroloy, Volume 1, pp. 383–390, 1962.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Pasquill, F.: Atmospheric Diffusion, Second Edition, Ellis Horwood Ltd., Sussex, England, 1974.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Gifford, F. A.: “Use of Routine Meteorological Observations for Estimating Atmospheric Dispersion”, Nuclear Safety, Volume 2, pp. 47–51, 1961.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Briggs, G. A.: “Diffusion Estimation for Small Emissions”, ATDL contribution No. 79 (Draft), Air Resources, Atmospheric Turbulence and Diffusion Laboratory, NOAA, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, 1973.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Snyder, W. H. and R. E. Lawson: Determination of Heights for Stack Near Building – Wind Tunnel Study, EPA–600/4–76–001, Environmental Sciences Research Laboratory, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, February 1976.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Smith, M. E.: Recommended Guide for the Prediction of the Dispersion of Airborne Effluents, Second Edition, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 1973.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Huber, A. H. : “Incorporating Building/Terrain Wake Effect on Stack Effluents”, Preprints of the AMS-APCA Joint Conference on Applications on Air Pollution Meteorology, November 29 - December 2, 1977, Salt Lake City, Utah, pp. 353–356.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Hanna, S. R. et al.: “AMS Workshop on Stability Classification Schemes and Sigma Curves–Summary of Recommendations”, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Volume 58, pp. 1305–1309, December 1977.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, User’s Manual for Single Source (CRSTER) Model, EPA–450/2–77–013, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, July 1977.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Pasquill, F.: Atmospheric Dispersion Parameters in Gaussian Plume Modeling, Part II, EPA–600/4–76–030b, Environmental Sciences Research Laboratory, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, June 1976.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Irwin, J. S.: “Estimating Plume Dispersion–A Recommended Generalized Scheme”, Proceedings of the Fourth Symposium of Turbulence, Diffusion, and Air Pollution, American Meteorological Society, Reno, Nevada, 62–69, 1979.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Briggs, G. A.: “Plume Rise Prediction”, Lectures on Air Pollution and Environmental Impact Analysis, (D. A. Haugen, ed. ), American Meteorological Society, 1975, pp. 59–111.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jawad S. Touma
    • 1
  • Yi-Hui Huang
    • 2
  • Hua Wang
    • 3
  • John H. Christiansen
    • 3
  1. 1.Northwest Energy Services CompanyKirklandUSA
  2. 2.Consumers Power Co.JacksonUSA
  3. 3.Dames & MoorePark RidgeUSA

Personalised recommendations