Development of the DUSTRAN GIS-Based Complex Terrain Model for Atmospheric Dust Dispersion

Pacific Northwest National laboratory, Final Technical Report PNNL-16588, May 2007

K. J. Allwine, F. C. Rutz, W. J. Shaw, J. P. Rishel, B. G. Fritz, E. G. Chapman, B. L. Hoopes, and T. E. Seiple

“Activities at U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) training and testing ranges can be sources of dust in local and regional airsheds governed by air-quality regulations. Activities that generate dust by disturbing local surfaces include vehicle and troop maneuvers, convoy movement, helicopter activities, munitions impacts, roadway preparations, and wind erosion. The use of smokes and obscurants, controlled burns, and engine operations also produce particulates.

“The U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) just completed a multi-year project to develop a fully tested and documented atmospheric dispersion modeling system (DUST TRANsport or DUSTRAN) to assist the DoD in addressing particulate air-quality issues at military training and testing ranges. DoD’s Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program was the primary source of funding for the project with additional funding from the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to address their issues related to the “off-target” drift of aerially applied pesticides.

“DUSTRAN is constructed from widely used, scientifically defensible atmospheric models and model components. The modeling system efficiently couples these modeling components and advances the state-of-science in dust-emission formulations. DUSTRAN is based on Environmental System Research Institute’s ArcMap geographic information system (Version 9.x), the EPA-approved CALifornia PUFF (CALPUFF) dispersion model, and the widely used CALifornia GRID (CALGRID) dispersion model. The CALifornia METeorological (CALMET) model provides the meteorological fields (e.g., winds, mixing height) for the CALPUFF and CALGRID dispersion models. The modeling system runs on a personal computer under the Microsoft Windows XP operating system. DUSTRAN includes dust-emission models for estimating emissions from both wheeled military vehicle activities and dust generated by wind erosion. The primary features of DUSTRAN are:

  • The modeling domain is graphically specified and is size selectable (20 km to 400 km).
  • It operates at any U.S. geographic location and has an “Add Site” wizard that generates a new site’s supporting files and data structure for use in a simulation.
  • Single-station or multiple-station meteorology can be used and easily specified.
  • Multiple point, area, and line releases can be accommodated and specified graphically.
  • Simulation and release times are easily specified in the user interface.
  • The output concentrations and deposition contours can be viewed graphically, and the output can be animated to view the progression of the plume across the modeling domain.
  • Multiple particle sizes and gaseous species can be simulated at one time.
  • Simulation periods are typically a few hours to a few days.
  • The atmospheric models treat wet and dry deposition and complex terrain effects.”

Read the report [PDF]