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properties of

Heat Pressure Wind Moisture

Scales of motion
• An interaction of four atmosphere properties
• With respect to geographic range, can be designated
as macroscale, mesoscale or microscale
Macroscale/global scale

• Motion involves planetary patterns of

circulation, grand sweep of air currents over
• Occur on scales of thousand of kilometers
• Illustrated by semipermanent high and low
pressure areas over oceans and continents
• Coriolis force – effect of earth’s High and low
pressure area,
rotation on wind velocity and cold & warm
direction fronts, hurricanes,
• Thermal convection
• Air mass movement – influence by the
distribution of land and water masses
• Little direct influence on air quality

• Circulation pattern developed under influence

of regional or local topography
• Occur on scales of hundreds kilometers
• Air movement is affected by configuration of
earth’s surface and present as vital concern in
air pollution control
• Phenomena – land and sea breeze, mountain
and valley winds

• Occur over areas of less than 10k

• Illustrated by dispersion of smoke plumes
• Occur within friction layer
• Air movement
– Affected by mechanical turbulence from the
frictional stress
– Affected by thermal turbulence from radiant heat
– Vital concern in air pollution control
• Major catalyst of climatic conditions
• Comes from sun as short-wave radiation in the
form of visible light
• Sun’s ray
– Some may be reflected back to space
– Scattered by intervening air molecules – gives
clear sky its deep blue color, red sunrises and
– Absorbed by ozone, water vapor, CO2, earth
•When studying air pollution the atmospheric layer of
primary concern is the troposphere. (The layer closest to
the ground extending to an altitude of 9km to 16 km)
Trophospheric heating

Heat transfer in

condensation Conduction Convection
Greenhouse effect

• Emitted
to space
Solar Absorbed Heat
by earth • Long-
energy energy wave

•Water vapor and CO2

•Transparent to short wave radiation
•Opaque to long wave radiation

Earth’s reradiation retained,

temperature increase
Evaporation-condensation cycle

• Evaporation – requires energy which is

absorbed from atm and stored in water vapor
• Condensation – release heat energy
• E-C - tends to move heat from lower regions
to higher regions

• Heat transfer by direct physical contact of air

and earth


• Process initiated by the rising of warm air and

the sinking of cold air
Temperature measurement

• Degree-days – temperature designation of

particular interest
• Measure of heating and fuel requirements and
hence air pollution potential from fossil fuels
• Calculation =
Preselected comfortable temp – average daily temp
for a year
Lapse rate
• The rate of ambient air temperature change with
• Can be determined for a particular place at a
particular time – sending up a balloon equipped with
• Ambient lapse rate - temp gradient of ambient air
measured by balloon that moves through the air
• Temperature decrease associated by
– Ambient lapse rate through which the parcel
– Rising parcel of air or gas that occur within the
• Lapse rate calculation for rising parcel
– The cooling process within the parcel is assumed
– Behaves like a rising balloon
– Another assumption – no heat exchange between
rising parcel and ambient air
• Adiabatic cooling – no transfer of heat from
rising parcel with surrounding atm
• Adiabatic lapse rate
– temperature change against altitude gain under
adiabatic (no addition or loss of heat) conditions
– Falls between wet adiabatic and dry adiabatic
lapse rate

• Ambient and adiabatic lapse rate – a measure

of atm stability
• Atm stability and instability is taken into
consideration in establishing the dispersion
rate of pollutants
Pressure system

• High and low pressure system

– are caused by location of continents, difference in
surface roughness and radiation, wind energy etc
– Responsible for many weather changes
• High-pressure system
– Related to clear skies, light winds, and stable atm
– Reflect the relative uniformity of air masses
– Pollutants likely to build up
• Low-pressure system
– Associated with cloudy skies, gusty winds,
unstable atm
– Dispersion of pollutant is likely and air pollution
problems are minimal
Lapse rate and dispersion

• By comparing ambient and adiabatic lapse

rate – gases emitted from a stack can be
Plume Types

Plume types are important

because they help us
understand under what
conditions there will be
higher concentrations of
contaminants at ground
Looping plume
• Ambient lapse rate is superadiabatic – strong
• High degree of convective turbulence - stream
of pollutant undergoes rapid mixing
• Associated with clear daytime conditions
accompanied by strong solar heating & light
• Atm serve as effective vehicle of dispersion
• Occurs in unstable atmospheric conditions
• High probability of high concentrations
sporadically at ground level close to stack
• Higher stacks may needed to prevent
premature contact with ground
Neutral plume

• Occur when ambient lapse rate =~ dry

adiabatic lapse rate
• Tend to rise directly into atm until it reaches
air of density similar to the plume
• Tend to ‘cone’ when
– wind velocity greater than 20mi/h
– Cloud cover blocks solar radiation by day and
terrestrial radiation by night
Coning plume

• Ambient lapse rate is subadiabatic

• Stable with small-scale turbulence
• Associated with overcast moderate to strong
• Limited vertical mixing, air pollution increase
• Pollutants travel fairly long distances before
reaching ground level in significant amounts
• Occurs in neutral atmospheric conditions
Fanning plume

• Occurs under large negative lapse rate

• Strong inversion at a considerable distance
above the stack
• Extremely stable atmosphere
• Little turbulence
• If plume density is similar to air, travels
downwind at approximately same elevation
Lofting plume

• Superadiabatic lapse rate above the emission

source and inversions conditions below
• Favorable in the sense that fewer impacts at
ground level.
• Pollutants go up into environment.
• They are created when atmospheric
conditions are unstable above the plume and
stable below.
Fumigating plume
• Most dangerous plume: contaminants are all
coming down to ground level.
• They are created when atmospheric
conditions (inversion layer) are stable above
the plume and unstable below
• This happens most often after the daylight sun
has warmed the atmosphere, which turns a
night time fanning plume into fumigation for
about a half an hour.
Trapping plume

• Similar to conditions provoke by fumigating

• Inversion layer prevails both above and below
the emission source
• Results in coning plume below the source and
above the inversion layer
Pressure systems and dispersion

• High pressure system

– indicated by clear skies, light winds and atm
– When stagnant over an area for several days,
cause air pollution problems
• Low-pressure system
– Unstable atmospheric conditions
– Bring wind and rain
– Less contaminant build up
Winds and dispersion

• Wind velocity
– determine the travel time of particulate and
dispersion rate air contaminant
– Affected by topographic conditions
• Conc of air contaminant in plume inversely
proportional to wind velocity
• Differing conductive capacity of landmass and
water mass – contribute to air pollution
Moisture and dispersion
• Water vapor
– Affect the amount of solar radiation received and
reflected by earth
– Serves to scatter or absorb radiation energy
• Washout process
– removing particulates and soluble gases by
– Detrimental effects
• Rainfall – SO2 react with water to form sulfurous acid
(acid rain) which increase rate of corrosion
• Low pH of acid rain influence algae and plant life
Maximum mixing depth

• Help establish whether an area is a proper site

fro contaminant-causing human activities
Dispersion model
Gaussian dispersion - describes the transport and diffusion of a
gas (or particle) from a source to a receptor according to stability
class and other parameterized characteristics of the atmosphere.
C - point concentration at receptor, mg/m3
H - effective height of emissions, m
Q - mass flow of contaminants from receptor, mg/s
u - wind speed, m/s
x,y,z - ground level coordinates of receptor, m
y - standard deviation of plume concentration distribution in y
plane, m
z - standard deviation of plume concentration distribution in z

plane, m
• Maximum ground level conc occurs when z =
0.707H, provided z/y are constant with
downwind distance x
Stack design
• Meteorological data are necessary for
expressing dispersion equations
• For optimum stack design – local variables
must be considered
• Local variables
– Mechanical turbulence from nearby buildings
– Irregular terrain
• Using different criteria for short-term releases,
explosions, for instantaneous release of
nuclear fission products
Holland’s equation and Davidson &

H = h + h

Where h = rise of plume above the stack, m

= stack gas velocity, m/s
d = inside stack diameter, m
u = wind speed, m/s
p = atmospheric pressure, millibars
T = stack gas temperature minus air
temperature, K
Ts = stack gas temperature, K
Change on the mesoscale and
• Refer to changes in weather attributed to air
• Reduced visibility
– Major contributor is by particulate of size range of
0.38 to 0.76 micron and gas molecules
• This particulate will absorb scatter light
• Scattering – reduce visibility by decreasing contrast
between object and background sky
• Altered precipitation
– Air contaminant increase precipitation
– Noticeable over urban centers with high
particulate emission
– Occurrence of fog
• Urban heat island
– Depends on urban areas and facilities (building
materials), thermal increase during cold weather
Change in macroscale

• Increment of carbon dioxide levels by

increasing the burning of fossil fuels
• Reduction of solar energy due to the Offset the
increment of particulate matter by increment
scattering and absorption effects of CO2

• 8.22, 8.23, 8.25, 8.29, 8.30, 8.31