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TRACKING AND PREDICTING THE ATMOSPHERIC DISPERSION OF HAZARDOUS MATERIAL RELEASES - Implications for Homeland Security Committee on the Atmospheric Dispersion of Hazarclous Material Releases Boa rcl on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate Division on Earth and Life Stuclies NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu
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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. Support for this project was provided by the National Science Foundation and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration under Grant No. ATM-0135923, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration under Contract No. 50-DGNA-A-90024. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authoress and do not necessarily reflect the views of the sponsors or their subagencies. Additional funding was provided by the National Research Council. International Standard Book Number 0-309-08926-3 (Book) International Standard B o ok Numb er 0 - 309 - 50935 - 1 (PDF) Library of Congress Control Number 2003107398 Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; 800-624-6242 or 202-334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu. Cover: (Clockwise from top) The first image is a 3-D representation of tracer plume concentrations from a simulation of a tracer release during URBAN 2000 in Salt Lake City in October 2000. The release location was approximately at the short, black line segment located in the bright red area of the plume. Many complex phenomena related to the interaction of the prevailing southeast wind, the buildings, and the tracer are shown. In particular, there is significant movement of tracer material to the south and to the west in comparison to what would be predicted by a model without explicit representation of buildings. This simulation was done with the HIGRAD CFD model at Los Alamos National Laboratory. The second image is a representation of tracer concentration contours from point measurements made during URBAN 2000 in Salt Lake City. Concentration contour analysis was done by Jerry Allwine at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. The third image is a simulation of a material release in Portland using the UDM model. The release point is at the red/orange star and the wind is due west. This illustrates the potentially dramatic effect of buildings and street canyons on the behavior of a plume in an urban area. This simulation was done by Los Alamos National Laboratory, and use of the UDM model is courtesy of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory of the UK Ministry of Defence. The fourth image is a 2-D representation of the same tracer plume concentration described for Image 1. Copyright 2003 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America
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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES Advisers to the Nation on Scienre' Engineering' and Medirine The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Wm. A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. Wm. A. Wulf are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org
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COMMITTEE ON THE ATMOSPHERIC DISPERSION OF HAZARDOUS MATERIAL RELEASES ROBERT J. SERAFIN (chair), National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado ERIC J. BARRON, Pennsylvania State University, University Park HOWARD B. BEUESTEIN, University of Oklahoma, Norman STEVEN F. CLIFFORD, University of Colorado, CIRES, Boulder LEWIS M. DUNCAN, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire MARGARET A. LEMONE, National Center [or Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado DAVID E. NEFF, Colorado State University, Fort Collins WILLIAM E. ODOM, Hudson Institute, Washington, D.C. GENE J. PFEFFER, Ri~gefiei~ Consulting, Colorado Springs, Colorado KARL K. TUREKIAN, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut THOMAS J. WARNER, University of Colorado, Boulder JOHN C. WYNGAARD, Pennsylvania State University, University Park NRC Staff LAURIE GELLER, Study Director VAUGHAN C. TUREKIAN, Program Officer (through August 2002) DIANE GUSTAFSON, Administrative Associate JULIE DEMUTH, Research Associate v
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BOARD ON ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES AND CLIMATE ERIC J. BARRON (chair), Pennsylvania State University, University Park RAYMOND J. BAN, The Weather Channel, Inc., Atlanta, Georgia ROBERT C. BEARDSEEY, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts RoS1NA M. BIERBAUM, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor HOWARD B. BEUESTEIN, University of Oklahoma, Norman RAFAEL L. BRAS, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge STEVEN F. CLIFFORD, University of Colorado, CIRES, Boulder CASSANDRA G. FESEN, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire GEORGE L. FREDERICK, Vaisala Inc., Boulder, Colorado JUDITH L. LEAN, Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, D.C. MARGARET A. LEMoNE' National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado MARlo J. MorlNA, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge MICHAEL J. PRATHER, University of California, Irvine WILLIAM J. RANDEL, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado RICHARD D. ROSEN, Atmospheric & Environmental Research, Inc., Lexington, Massachusetts THOMAS F. TASCloNE, Sterling Software, Inc., Bellevue, Nebraska JOHN C. WYNGAARD, Pennsylvania State University, University Park Ax Off cio Members EUGENE M. RASMUSSON, University of Maryland, College Park ERIC F. WOOD, Princeton University, New Jersey NRC Staff CHRIS ELFRING, Director ELBERT W. (JOE) FRIDAY, JR., Senior Scholar LAURIE S. GELLER, Senior Program Officer AMANDA STAUDT, Program Officer JULIE DEMUTH, Research Associate Er~zAsETH A. GALINIS, Project Assistant ROB GREENWAY, Project Assistant DIANE L. GUSTAFSON, Administrative Associate Ros1N A. MoRRlS, Financial Officer Vl
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Preface _ ' n the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the National Academies launched a major new initiative to provide guidance to the federal government on _ _ scientific and technical matters related to counterterrorism and homeland security. All of the boards within the National Academies were asked to consider how their particular research communities could contribute to this effort. The Board on Atmo- spheric Sciences and Climate (BASC) discussed this matter at its autumn 2001 meeting and proposed the idea for the workshop that is described in this report. There is growing concern that future terrorist activities may involve the release of chemical or biological weapons or the detonation of "dirty bombs" that release radio- active material. Atmospheric observations and models can be used to track a hazardous release and to forecast how a plume of hazardous material may spread. Emergency responders can use this information to identify affected locations and make life-saving decisions about evacuating or sheltering endangered populations. The BASC members agreed that there was a great need to critically examine the observational and modeling tools used for tracking the atmospheric dispersion of chemical, biological, or nuclear (C/B/N) agents and to assess the value of dispersion forecasts for providing useful information to emergency responders and the general public. To address these issues, a steering committee was convened that included several members of the BASC and a number of additional people chosen to augment the group's expertise. The steering committee held an initial planning meeting on May 8-9, 2002, in Washington, D.C., and the workshop was held on July 22-24, 2002, in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. The charge to the committee was to organize a workshop that addressed the following tasks: ~ A centerpiece of this effort is the report Making the Nation Safer: The Role of Science and Technology in Countering Terrorism (NRC, 2002c). That report was produced by a parent committee (chaired by Lewis Branscomb and Richard Klausner) that synthesized the analysis of eight subpanels. . . v''
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. . . V111 PREFACE Review the current suite of atmospheric models that are used in characterizing atmospheric dispersion and examine how these models are applied operationally for emergency response efforts. Identify deficiencies in the models that limit their effectiveness and breadth of application; assess the research and development needed to enhance the effectiveness and operational use of these models in emergency situations. Determine the observational data needed to initialize, test, and use these models effectively, and identify ways that other environmental measurements can com- plement these models to provide additional and more accurate information. This activity focused on tracking terrorist releases of C/B/N agents (primarily focusing on local- or re~ional-scale dispersion). but it should be noted that many of the ~ ~ ~ ,, ~ · · . · .. · . . . - . . . . . · .. . . . · . . - . Issues raised In tills context are applicable to tracking other hazardous materials cllspersec through the atmosphere, such as air pollution, smoke from forest fires, and industrial , ~ ~ ~ , ~ , , chemical spills. Note also that the workshop participants did recognize C/B/N sensors as critically important components of a dispersion tracking and forecasting system. An examination of sensor technologies can be found in another recent National Research Council report (NRC, 2002a). A, A, . . . There are dozens of dispersion models in use as operational or research tools. We did not attempt to carry out a comprehensive model analysis or intercomparison, but instead, we examined a small subset of modeling systems (primarily those used by national agencies) that represent a range of capabilities and applications. The models chosen for discussion here do not represent the committee's judgment about the "best" systems. Recently, the Office of the Federal Coordinator for Meteorology and the Department of Defense each carried out a comprehensive survey of available dispersion models and their capabilities (although both assessments were largely qualitative in nature). This National Academies' activity is aimed at complementing the governmental activities by providing an independent forum for assessing our nation's current capabilities and needs. ~ ~ ^^ National Academies' endowment and BASC core funds (received from the National Science Foundation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration). This activity was initiated internally and supported through This report provides a summary of the discussions that took place at the workshop. It is organized along the same lines as the workshop itself, divided into three main topics: (1) information requirements of the emergency response community, (2) observational capabilities and needs, and (3) modeling capabilities and needs. The workshop focused primarily on informal discussion among the participants, but it also included a few presentations to provide background information and context for the participants. The appendixes of this report include a summary of several of these presentations. Robert J. Serafin, Chair
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Acknowledgments This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council's Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Donald E. Aylor, Connecticut Agricultural Experimentation Center David P. Bacon, Science Applications International Corporation Donald L. Ermak, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Jack Fellows, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research George L. Frederick, Vaisala Inc. Robert G. Hendrickson, Oregon Health and Science University Andrew MajUa, New York University Clifford F. Mass, University of Washington Stephen J. McGrail, Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency Frances Edwards-WinsIow, San Jose Office of Emergency Services Although the reviewers listed above have provided constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the report's conclusions or recommen- dations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by John F. Ahearne, Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society, and Charles E. Kolb, Aerodyne Research, Inc. Appointed by the National Research Council, they were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution. IX
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Contents EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 1 INTRODUCTION 2 USER NEEDS Preparedness, 1 1 Response, 12 Recovery and Analysis, 17 Key Findings and Recommendations, 18 3 OBSERVATIONAL CAPABILITIES AND NEEDS Plume Identification, 20 Wind Local Flows, 20 Depth and Intensity of Turbulent Layers, 26 Deposition and Degradation, 27 Key Findings and Recommendations, 29 1 8 11 19 4 DISPERSION MODELING: APPLICATION TO C/B/N RELEASES 33 Categories of Dispersion Models, 34 Interpreting and Evaluating Dispersion Model Outputs, 35 Overview of C/B/N Dispersion Modeling Systems, 40 Review of Selected C/B/N Dispersion Modeling Systems, 44 Discussion of C/B/N Modeling Systems, 48 Key Findings and Recommendations, 51 REFERENCES ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS COMMITTEE BIOGRAPHIES Xl 55 57 60
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. . x!! APPENDIXES A Workshop Agenda and Participant List, 65 B Overview of Atmospheric Transport and Dispersion Modeling, 69 C Meteorological Observing Systems for Tracking and Modeling C/B/N Plumes, 72 Scientific and Technical Information Needs of Emergency First Responders, 78 Ensemble Simulations with Coupled Atmospheric Dynamic and Dispersion F CONTENTS 63 Models: Illustrating Uncertainties in Dosage Simulations, 80 Modeling Studies of the Dispersion of Smoke Plumes from the World Trade Center Fires, 85 Use of Atmospheric Models in Response to the Chernobyl Disaster, 87 Preparatory Exercises at the Salt Lake City Olympics, 89 URBAN 2000 Overview, 91