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Results of comparisons of the predictions of 17 dense gas dispersion models with observations from the Jack Rabbit II chlorine field experiment

Abstract : The Jack Rabbit II (JR II) chlorine field trials in 2015 and 2016 involved nine 5–20 ton releases of pressurized liquefied chlorine from a tank mounted 1 m above a broad flat desert sand surface. A model comparison study was initiated, where 17 widely-used dense-gas dispersion models were run by scientists in seven countries. Predictions were submitted following specified formats, using specified emissions and meteorology inputs. To compare with the model predictions, sets of observations were defined for the arc-maximum 1–3 s averaged concentrations (arc max C) and for cloud widths and heights (to 20 ppm and 200 ppm contours) at distances from 0.2 to 11.0 km from the release. The initial focus is on the three field trials (1, 6, and 7) that have the highest observed concentrations and that have detailed emissions information. It is found that these models are able to satisfactorily simulate (generally within a factor of two) the observed arc max C's and their variation with downwind distance at this flat desert site. At each downwind distance, the scatter in the arc max C predictions covers about 1 ½ orders of magnitude, but the observed arc max C is within the range of the predictions. The median of the cloud width predictions is about 50% larger than the observed value for the three trials. The median of the cloud height predictions is within about 10% of the observed value. For both cloud width and/or height, there are a few models with large (factor of 3 or higher) overpredictions. Of the 17 models, when compared to observations, there is a core group of 5 or 6 with consistently (across all three trials and all distances) less mean error and scatter in their predictions of arc max C and cloud width and height. However, as a group, the 17 models are performing adequately (using the “factor of two” rule of thumb). An important caveat is that, at the JR II desert site, chlorine deposition is minimal. At a site with vegetation and/or organic-rich soil, the effects of removal of chlorine by deposition are expected to be significant.
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Submitted on : Monday, August 9, 2021 - 10:16:57 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, August 10, 2021 - 3:10:13 AM

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T. Mazzola, S. Hanna, J. Chang, S. Bradley, R. Meris, et al.. Results of comparisons of the predictions of 17 dense gas dispersion models with observations from the Jack Rabbit II chlorine field experiment. Atmospheric Environment, Elsevier, 2021, 244, pp.art. 117887. ⟨10.1016/j.atmosenv.2020.117887⟩. ⟨ineris-03318008⟩

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