Impact of Vertical and Horizontal Resolutions on Chemistry Transport Modelling

  • Bertrand BessagnetEmail author
  • Augustin Colette
  • Etienne Terrenoire
  • Laurent Menut
  • Philippe Thunis
Conference paper
Part of the Springer Proceedings in Complexity book series (SPCOM)


This paper presents the main results of two specific studies related to the sensitivity of spatial resolution on chemistry transport modeling. The horizontal scale is addressed by simulating the air quality in Europe for the full year 2009 at 50 and 8 km resolutions on a very high performance computing infrastructure. An additional 2 km resolution was performed on a smaller period to assess the added value of a very high horizontal resolution during the air pollution outbreak of January 2009 when particulate and nitrogen dioxide levels reached alert levels. We reveal small scale air pollution patterns that highlight the contribution of city plumes to background air pollution levels. The influence of the vertical resolution on air pollutant concentrations near the surface is studied. The results are discussed in terms of differences on surface concentrations between the reference case and an improved resolution. Adding a point close to the surface appears to be important mainly for high nocturnal concentrations in very stable boundary layers.


Root Mean Square Error Vertical Resolution Nitrogen Dioxide Urban Canopy Average Root Mean Square Error 
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This study was funded by the French Ministry in charge of Environment. European funding also benefited to this initiative through the EC4MACS project of the Life Programme of the European Commission (LIFE06 ENV/AT/PREP/06).


  1. 1.
    Bessagnet B, Menut L, Curci G, Hodzic A, Guillaume B, Liousse C, Moukhtar S, Pun B, Seigneur C, Schulz M (2008) Regional modeling of carbonaceous aerosols over Europe – focus on secondary organic aerosols. J Atmos Chem 61:175–202CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Menut L, Bessagnet B, Colette A, Khvorostiyanov D (2013) On the impact of the vertical resolution on chemistry-transport modelling. Atmos Environ 67:370–384CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Thunis P, Pederzoli A, Pernigotti D (2012) Performance criteria to evaluate air quality modeling applications. Atmos Environ 59:476–482CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bertrand Bessagnet
    • 1
    Email author
  • Augustin Colette
    • 1
  • Etienne Terrenoire
    • 1
  • Laurent Menut
    • 2
  • Philippe Thunis
    • 3
  1. 1.Institut National de l’Environnement Industriel et des Risques, INERISVerneuil en HalatteFrance
  2. 2.Laboratoire de Météorologie DynamiqueÉcole Polytechnique, ENS, UPMC, CNRS, IPSLPalaiseauFrance
  3. 3.European Commission, JRC, Institute for Environment and SustainabilityClimate Change and Air Quality UnitIspraItaly

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