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Bridging the scales in a eulerian air quality model to assess megacity export of pollution

Abstract : In Chemistry Transport Models (CTMs), spatial scale interactions are often represented through off-line coupling between large and small scale models. However, those nested configurations cannot give account of the impact of the local scale on its surroundings. This issue can be critical in areas exposed to air mass recirculation (sea breeze cells) or around regions with sharp pollutant emission gradients (large cities). Such phenomena can still be captured by the mean of adaptive gridding, two-way nesting or using model nudging, but these approaches remain relatively costly. We present here the development and the results of a simple alternative multi-scale approach making use of a horizontal stretched grid, in the Eulerian CTM CHIMERE. This method, called 'stretching' or 'zooming', consists in the introduction of local zooms in a single chemistry-transport simulation. It allows bridging online the spatial scales from the city (~1 km resolution) to the continental area (~50 km resolution). The CHIMERE model was run over a continental European domain, zoomed over the BeNeLux (Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg) area. We demonstrate that, compared with one-way nesting, the zooming method allows the expression of a significant feedback of the refined domain towards the large scale: around the city cluster of BeNeLuX, NO2 and O3 scores are improved. NO2 variability around BeNeLux is also better accounted for, and the net primary pollutant flux transported back towards BeNeLux is reduced. Although the results could not be validated for ozone over BeNeLux, we show that the zooming approach provides a simple and immediate way to better represent scale interactions within a CTM, and constitutes a useful tool for apprehending the hot topic of megacities within their continental environment.
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Guillaume Siour, Augustin Colette, Laurent Menut, Bertrand Bessagnet, Isabelle Coll, et al.. Bridging the scales in a eulerian air quality model to assess megacity export of pollution. Environmental Modelling and Software, Elsevier, 2013, 46, pp.271-282. ⟨10.1016/j.envsoft.2013.04.001⟩. ⟨ineris-00963471⟩



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