7.1 Investigating Wildfires in the Pacific Northwest

Thursday, 10 January 2013: 1:30 PM
Room 16A (Austin Convention Center)
Farren Herron-Thorpe, Washington State University, Pullman, WA; and B. Lamb, J. Vaughan, G. Mount, A. Rengel, L. Emmons, and L. Golston

The AIRPACT-3 air quality modeling system for the Pacific Northwest, based on the WRF-CMAQ modeling suite, incorporates the BlueSky framework to derive fire emissions. AIRPACT-3 is used to determine potential impacts of aerosols and trace gases from large wildfires during summer of 2007. Varied settings of BlueSky fuels and plume rise modules are tested and results are compared to MODIS-derived PM2.5, MISR plume top estimates, and measurements made by nearby surface monitors. We find that the use of “Hardy” fuel loading and FEPS plume rise agrees best with MISR plume top retrievals. However, FCCS fuel loading results in the best agreement of PM2.5 emissions as derived from MODIS. Carbon monoxide retrievals from AIRS and tropospheric nitrogen dioxide retrievals from OMI are also used to assess model performance. Finally, a satellite data assimilation method originally presented by Paton-Walsh et al. (2010) is tested. This approach, thus, provides an extensive integration of various satellite products and the Airpact modeling system to address a comprehensive assessment of wildfire impact on regional atmospheric chemistry.
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