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Evaluation of AERMOD and CALPUFF for predicting ambient concentrations of total suspended particulate matter (TSP) emissions from a quarry in complex terrain

Tartakovsky D., Broday D.M., Stern E.

Environmental Pollution
Volume 179, August 2013, Pages 138–145

Concentrations of particulate emissions from a quarry located in hilly terrain were calculated by two common atmospheric dispersion models, AERMOD and CALPUFF. Evaluation of these models for emissions from quarries/open pit mines that are located in complex topography is missing from the literature. Due to severe uncertainties in the input parameters, numerous scenarios were simulated and model sensitivity was studied. Model results were compared among themselves, and to measured total suspended particulate (TSP). For a wide range of meteorological and topographical conditions studied, AERMOD predictions were in a better agreement with the measurements than those obtained by CALPUFF. The use of AERMOD''''s “Open pit” tool seems unnecessary when accurate digital topographic data are available. Onsite meteorological data are shown to be crucial for reliable dispersion calculations in complex terrain.