Relevance of the Plume-in-Grid Treatment of Point Sources to the Modeling of Atmospheric Mercury

Krish Vijayaraghavan 1*, Prakash Karamchandani 1, Rochelle Balmori 1 and Leonard Levin2

AMSTERDAM (the Advanced Modeling System for Transport, Emissions, Reactions and Deposition of Atmospheric Matter) is a multi-pollutant model derived from EPA’s Community Multiscale Air Quality model (CMAQ) and offers sophisticated treatments of ozone, PM and mercury processes. The model includes a state-of-the-science analysis of the atmospheric dynamics and chemistry of mercury and other species in plumes from elevated point sources. This paper presents the application of this plume-in-grid model to simulate the wet and dry deposition of mercury species over the United States during a month in 2002. AMSTERDAM is applied here over a domain that covers the central and eastern United States and has a horizontal grid resolution of 12 km with 19 vertical levels extending up to the tropopause. Model performance is evaluated by comparison of simulated wet deposition of mercury with 2002 wet deposition data from the Mercury Deposition Network (MDN) in the National Atmospheric Deposition Program (NADP). The importance of using an explicit treatment of the plumes from 158 large coal-fired power plants in the United States on local and regional mercury deposition is presented.

1 Atmospheric & Environmental Research, Inc. (AER), 388 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94111
2 EPRI, 3420 Hillview Avenue, Palo Alto, CA 94304
1*Krish Vijayaraghavan, Atmospheric & Environmental Research, Inc. (AER), 388 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94111, Email: