Sensitivity of air quality simulation to smoke plume rise
Plume rise is the height smoke plumes can reach. This information is needed by air quality models such as the Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) model to simulate physical and chemical processes of point-source fire emissions. This study seeks to understand the importance of plume rise to CMAQ air quality simulation of prescribed burning to plume rise. CMAQ simulations are compared between fire emissions as area and point sources. For point source, Daysmoke is used to calculate plume rise. A burn day in Florida is examined. The results indicate significant sensitivity of simulated PM2.5 (particulate matter with a size smaller than 2.5 μm) concentrations to plume rise. The air quality effects, measured by PM2.5 concentrations at the burning area, are more significant by specifying fire emissions as an area source. The implication of the results for the uncertainty in evaluating the contribution of prescribed burning to regional air pollution is discussed.