Articles | Volume 6, issue 6
Geosci. Model Dev., 6, 1889–1904, 2013
Geosci. Model Dev., 6, 1889–1904, 2013

Model description paper 01 Nov 2013

Model description paper | 01 Nov 2013

The Lagrangian particle dispersion model FLEXPART-WRF version 3.1

J. Brioude1,2, D. Arnold3,4, A. Stohl5, M. Cassiani5, D. Morton6, P. Seibert7, W. Angevine1,2, S. Evan1,2, A. Dingwell8, J. D. Fast9, R. C. Easter9, I. Pisso5, J. Burkhart5,10, and G. Wotawa4 J. Brioude et al.
  • 1CIRES – Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA
  • 2Chemical Sciences Division, Earth System Research Laboratory, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Boulder, Colorado, USA
  • 3INTE – Institute of Energy Technologies, Technical University of Catalonia, Barcelona, Spain
  • 4Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics, Vienna, Austria
  • 5NILU – Norwegian Institute for Air Research, Kjeller, Norway
  • 6ARSC – Arctic Region Supercomputing Center, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, USA
  • 7Institute of Meteorology, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria
  • 8Department of Earth Sciences, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
  • 9PNNL – Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington, USA
  • 10School of Engineering, University of California, Merced, USA

Abstract. The Lagrangian particle dispersion model FLEXPART was originally designed for calculating long-range and mesoscale dispersion of air pollutants from point sources, such that occurring after an accident in a nuclear power plant. In the meantime, FLEXPART has evolved into a comprehensive tool for atmospheric transport modeling and analysis at different scales. A need for further multiscale modeling and analysis has encouraged new developments in FLEXPART. In this paper, we present a FLEXPART version that works with the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) mesoscale meteorological model. We explain how to run this new model and present special options and features that differ from those of the preceding versions. For instance, a novel turbulence scheme for the convective boundary layer has been included that considers both the skewness of turbulence in the vertical velocity as well as the vertical gradient in the air density. To our knowledge, FLEXPART is the first model for which such a scheme has been developed. On a more technical level, FLEXPART-WRF now offers effective parallelization, and details on computational performance are presented here. FLEXPART-WRF output can either be in binary or Network Common Data Form (NetCDF) format, both of which have efficient data compression. In addition, test case data and the source code are provided to the reader as a Supplement. This material and future developments will be accessible at