Modeling the Complex Photochemistry of Biomass Burning Plumes in Plume-Scale, Regional, and Global Air Quality Models

Friday, 19 December 2014: 9:45 AM
Matthew James Alvarado1, Chantelle Rose Lonsdale1, Robert J Yokelson2, Katherine Travis3, Emily V Fischer4 and John C Lin5, (1)AER, Inc., Lexington, MA, United States, (2)Univ Montana, Missoula, MT, United States, (3)Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, United States, (4)Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, United States, (5)University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, United States
Forecasting the impacts of biomass burning (BB) plumes on air quality is difficult due to the complex photochemistry that takes place in the concentrated young BB plumes. The spatial grid of global and regional scale Eulerian models is generally too large to resolve BB photochemistry, which can lead to errors in predicting the formation of secondary organic aerosol (SOA) and O3, as well as the partitioning of NOyspecies. AER’s Aerosol Simulation Program (ASP v2.1) can be used within plume-scale Lagrangian models to simulate this complex photochemistry. We will present results of validation studies of the ASP model against aircraft observations of young BB smoke plumes. We will also present initial results from the coupling of ASP v2.1 into the Lagrangian particle dispersion model STILT-Chem in order to better examine the interactions between BB plume chemistry and dispersion.

In addition, we have used ASP to develop a sub-grid scale parameterization of the near-source chemistry of BB plumes for use in regional and global air quality models. The parameterization takes inputs from the host model, such as solar zenith angle, temperature, and fire fuel type, and calculates enhancement ratios of O3, NOx, PAN, aerosol nitrate, and other NOy species, as well as organic aerosol (OA). We will present results from the ASP-based BB parameterization as well as its implementation into the global atmospheric composition model GEOS-Chem for the SEAC4RS campaign.