Diploma Thesis: Atmospheric dispersion modelling of particulate matter with the COSMO modelLauren Mertens and Andreas Bott
Air pollution caused by particulate matter (PM10 = particle size < 10μm) is a health hazard in urban areas and a big problem for large cities. Local sources of pollution include: the burning of fossil fuel by traffic, industrial processes, soil erosion, forest and grassland fires, dust storms, combustion and domestic fuel. The residence time of aerosols in the atmosphere depends on the particle size. Ultra fine particles (UFP = particle size < 0,1μm) can stay for weeks while particles > 10μm will not last more than a day. The smaller and lighter a particle is, the longer it remains in the air. The particles are removed from the atmosphere mainly by precipitation. If particles reach high altitudes (up to the stratosphere) by aircraft exhaust emissions or volcanic eruptions for example, they can stay there for months or even years. The propagation of air pollutants strongly depends on the wind field and the atmospheric stability. Low-wind weather conditions and inversions cause an accumulation of air pollutants and can create smog in large cities.
The aim of my thesis is to calculate past scenarios of air pollutant transport and propagation online (= fully coupled) with the COSMO model, the forecast model of the German Weather Service (DWD) and to compare the results and these model simulations with measurements or other model simulations. The model area for my calculations will be the North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) region.