Articles | Volume 10, issue 11
Geosci. Model Dev., 10, 4057–4079, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-10-4057-2017

Special issue: Particle-based methods for simulating atmospheric aerosol...

Geosci. Model Dev., 10, 4057–4079, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-10-4057-2017

Model description paper 09 Nov 2017

Model description paper | 09 Nov 2017

A single-column particle-resolved model for simulating the vertical distribution of aerosol mixing state: WRF-PartMC-MOSAIC-SCM v1.0

Jeffrey H. Curtis1, Nicole Riemer1, and Matthew West2 Jeffrey H. Curtis et al.
  • 1Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1301 W. Green St., Urbana, IL 61801, USA
  • 2Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1206 W. Green St., Urbana, IL 61801, USA

Abstract. The PartMC-MOSAIC particle-resolved aerosol model was previously developed to predict the aerosol mixing state as it evolves in the atmosphere. However, the modeling framework was limited to a zero-dimensional box model approach without resolving spatial gradients in aerosol concentrations. This paper presents the development of stochastic particle methods to simulate turbulent diffusion and dry deposition of aerosol particles in a vertical column within the planetary boundary layer. The new model, WRF-PartMC-MOSAIC-SCM, resolves the vertical distribution of aerosol mixing state. We verified the new algorithms with analytical solutions for idealized test cases and illustrate the capabilities with results from a 2-day urban scenario that shows the evolution of black carbon mixing state in a vertical column.

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Short summary
Traditional aerosol representations rely on simplifying assumptions about the aerosol composition in order to reduce computational cost. This introduces errors in estimates of aerosol impacts on climate. In contrast, the WRF-PartMC-MOSAIC-SCM model, presented here, uses a particle-resolved aerosol representation. It is made feasible by the development of efficient numerical methods, and allows for the capture of complex aerosol mixing states with altitude.