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Atmosphere 2011, 2(3), 484-509;

Adaptive Grid Use in Air Quality Modeling

School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 June 2011 / Revised: 31 August 2011 / Accepted: 2 September 2011 / Published: 9 September 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Pollution Modeling: Reviews of Science Process Algorithms)
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The predictions from air quality models are subject to many sources of uncertainty; among them, grid resolution has been viewed as one that is limited by the availability of computational resources. A large grid size can lead to unacceptable errors for many pollutants formed via nonlinear chemical reactions. Further, insufficient grid resolution limits the ability to perform accurate exposure assessments. To address this issue in parallel to increasing computational power, modeling techniques that apply finer grids to areas of interest and coarser grids elsewhere have been developed. Techniques using multiple grid sizes are called nested grid or multiscale modeling techniques. These approaches are limited by uncertainty in the placement of finer grids since pertinent locations may not be known a priori, loss in solution accuracy due to grid boundary interface problems, and inability to adjust to changes in grid resolution requirements. A different approach to achieve local resolution involves using dynamic adaptive grids. Various adaptive mesh refinement techniques using structured grids as well as mesh enrichment techniques on unstructured grids have been explored in atmospheric modeling. Recently, some of these techniques have been applied to full blown air quality models. In this paper, adaptive grid methods used in air quality modeling are reviewed and categorized. The advantages and disadvantages of each adaptive grid method are discussed. Recent advances made in air quality simulation owing to the use of adaptive grids are summarized. Relevant connections to adaptive grid modeling in weather and climate modeling are also described. View Full-Text
Keywords: adaptive mesh; mesh refinement; photochemical modeling adaptive mesh; mesh refinement; photochemical modeling

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Garcia-Menendez, F.; Odman, M.T. Adaptive Grid Use in Air Quality Modeling. Atmosphere 2011, 2, 484-509.

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