Lateral Dispersion of Pollutants in a Very Stable Atmosphere - The Effect of Meandering

Leif Kristensen, Niels Otto Jensen, Erik Lundtang Petersen

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    A model based on single particle diffusion is introduced to account for the effect of “meandering” on lateral plume dispersion in a very stable atmosphere. It is assumed that small scale atmospheric turbulence is absent, so that only large horizontal eddies are effective. A formula for the lateral standard deviation σy as function of observation time, distance from source, mean wind speed, lateral turbulence intensity, and scale of the atmospheric motion is derived. Climatological time series of temperature lapse rates, wind speeds, and wind directions can be used as input to calculate σy. Meteorological data from Risø and the small island Sprogø have been analysed in order to identify all situations in which the atmosphere is so stable that small scale turbulence cannot exist. The purpose is to see in how many of these situations meandering is also absent. The results show that, as a rule, meandering will be present in a strongly stable atmosphere with low wind speeds. If the dispersion by meandering is not taken into account, estimates of mean concentrations can easily be a factor of 4–6 too high.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalAtmospheric Environment
    Issue number5
    Pages (from-to)837-844
    Publication statusPublished - 1981


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