Sixth Symposium on the Urban Environment
AMS Forum: Managing our Physical and Natural Resources: Successes and Challenges


Event Reconstruction for Atmospheric Releases Employing Urban Puff Model UDM with Stochastic Inversion Methodology

Stephanie Neuman, LLNL, Livermore, CA; and L. G. Glascoe, B. Kosovic, K. Dyer, J. Nitao, and W. Hanley

The rapid identification of contaminant plume sources in urban environments can greatly enhance emergency response efforts. Source identification based on downwind concentration measurements are complicated by the presence of building obstacles that can cause flow diversion and entrainment. While high-resolution CFD simulations are available for predicting plume evolution in complex urban geometries (see the Chow et al. abstract), such simulations require large computational effort. We make use of an urban puff model, the Defence Science Technology Laboratory's Urban Dispersion Model (UDM), which employs empirically-based puff splitting techniques. UDM greatly reduces urban dispersion simulations by combining traditional Gaussian puff modeling with empirically-deduced mixing and entrainment approximations. Here we demonstrate the preliminary reconstruction of an atmospheric release event using stochastic sampling algorithms and Bayesian inference together with the rapid UDM urban puff model based on point measurements of concentration. We consider source inversions for both a prototype isolated building (a cube) and for observations and flow conditions taken during the Joint URBAN 2003 field campaign at Oklahoma City. The Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) stochastic sampling method is used to extract likely source term parameters and considers both measurement and forward model errors. It should be noted that the stochastic methodology is general and can be used for time-varying release rates and flow conditions. The results of inversion indicate the probability of a source being found at a particular location with a particular release rate. Uncertainty in observed data, or lack of sufficient data, is inherently reflected in the shape and size of the probability distribution of source term parameters. Although developed and used independently, source inversion with both UDM and a finite-element CFD code can be complementary in determining proper emergency response to an urban release. Ideally, the urban puff model is used to approximate the source location and strength. The more accurate CFD model can then be used to refine the solution. Funding for this effort was provided by the Event Reconstruction Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) Project. This work was performed under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Energy by the University of California, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory under Contract No. W-7405-Eng-48.

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Joint Session 4, Development of Tools to Assist Emergency Responders in the Case of Releases of Gases and Small Particles Within Urban Areas (Joint with 6th Symposium on the Urban Environment and Forum on Managing our Physical and Natural Resources)
Wednesday, 1 February 2006, 8:30 AM-12:00 PM, A312

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