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  • Photochemical Ozone/Smog Modeling
  • PM 10/2.5 Aerosol Modeling
  • Aerosol Physical and Chemical Interactions
  • Wind Modeling in Support of Transport and Dispersion
  • General Transport and Dispersion Modeling

In general, air quality models are used to predict levels of pollutants or hazards in the atmosphere to determine their effect on visibility and human health as well as understand historical pollution problems. 

By running the models for historical pollution events, it can be determined whether the physics and chemistry are properly captured in the model, its emission inventory, and in the modeled meteorology.  If comparisons are realistic, then predictions as to future conditions of Air Quality can be made for a specific site. 

If the comparisons are unrealistic, future research is needed to aid in developing more realistic physics and chemistry.  The speed of computers is such that daily air quality predictions can be made to to determine the Air Quality Index (AQI) which determines visibility and health impact.  In addition analysis of the transport can lead to physical insight as to the nature of the problem.

We can aid in all of these situations and some example projects are shown below.



Modeling includes computer running under the LINUX platform to run photochemical grid models such as CAMx (Comprehensive Air Quality Modeling with Extensions), UAM-V (Urban Airshed Model V), MAQSIP (Multi-scale Air Quality Simulation Platform), and CMAQ (Community Multi-scale Air Quality). 

These models are used to predict ozone formation, study historical ozone events and further develop ozone models.  



  • Real-Time Photochemical Ozone/Smog Predictions for California's Central Valley
  • Sensitivity Analysis  of Ozone/Smog Formation in Houston


  • NARSTO Model Comparisons
  • Power Plant Effects on the UAM Modeling Domain of Pima County, Arizona  


  • Trajectory Analysis of  Transport  Leading to Rapid Ozone Formation in Houston
  • Trajectory Analysis of Transport from the Central Valley to the LA Basin
Monitoring Sites are numbered and were investigated based on rapid ozone formation.  In this case pre-cursor chemicals to Ozone formation are originating in Houston's ship channel.


Research and Project Activities: Computers running under Windows have been used to run CALMET/CALPUFF model and AERMOD for fugitive dust and other aerosols releases. Computers running under the LINUX platform run PM10 and PM 2.5 regional models such as CAMx for PM (Comprehensive Air Quality Modeling with Extensions) and UAM-AERO (Urban Airshed Model for Aerosols).  In addition, research activities have been done to develop microscale/turbulent models to understand the transport of aerosols, dust, and other agents. 


Eta-CALMET-CALPUFF analysis was performed using the Coloraod Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) suggested protocol for modeling BART elgibile sites that may affect Class I Federal Lands.  Preliminary results showed that Eta-CALMET wind fields predict a similar number of poor visibility days similar to that using MM5-CALMET analysis and observations for the input winds. The overall objective of this study was to compare the results of two modeling methodologies for assessing visibility impacts in Class I Areas, and determine the possibility of using the “new” method effectively for this type of study.  The CEMEX cement plant near Lyons, CO was used as a case study using the suggested emission rates provide by CDHPE.



















Figure 1. Class I areas within 50 and 300 kilometers of the BART-eligible source.

Figure 2. A sample of hourly predicted winds during 365 days of simulation for 2002
Table 1.  The maximum deciview change during the 2002 simulation. 
Table 2.  The 8th highest deciview change along with the number of days there is a 0.5 dv change due to the source in the 2002 simulation. 


At the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (UCCS), Dr. Jason Roney was funded to develop a series of real time model prediction capabilities for potential threats from terrorist activities as part of the NISSC program. Using NCEP Eta and EDAS weather models that were coupled to the CALMET/CALPUFF transport and disperions model, Dr. Roney developed a real-time capability in which the daily Eta forecast was used to predict transport and dispersion of fictional release events.  Eventually, this modeling technique led to performing an analysis of potential nuclear power plant threats caused by accident or terrorist activity along the US-Canada border.  For this proto-type analysis, some worst-case scenario days were chosen based on wind directions that would potentially blow the contaminants towards large population centers.  In the process, different atmospheric stability classes were tested as well, but the main focus was on directionality of the wind and quick analysis.  All values in this analysis were notional based on educational guesses based on the existing literature.


























Model Domain for Notional Simulations
TestClose-up of a release near Toronto, Canada


Conference Papers and Technical Reports

J.A. Roney, ”Eta-CALPUFF Dispersion Analysis of Colorado Sources and Their Effect on Visibility in the Surrounding Class I Federal Areas”, AWMA Guideline on Air Quality Models: Applications and FLAG Developments -- An A&WMA Specialty Conference, Denver, CO, April 26-28, 2006. 

J.A. Roney, ”Eta-CALPUFF Meteorological Plume Analysis to Determine Potential Casualties Due to Catastrophic Failures at US/Canada Border Nuclear Power Plants”, Paper # 567, AWMA 98th Annual Conference Proceedings, 2005.

J.A. Roney, “Meteorological Plume Analysis to Determine Potential Casualties Due to Catastrophic Failure at Industrial Sites in Border Nations”, NISSC Final Report, January 2005.

J.A. Roney, “Real-time Predictions of Chemical or Biological Agent Wind Dispersion Using a Hybrid Model: Phase I and Phase II” NISSC Report, March 31, 2004.

S.G. Brown, P.T. Roberts, M.P. Buhr, and J.A. Roney, “Characterization of Ozone Event Triggered VOC and Carbonyl Samples in Houston Texas, in 2001”, Conference Paper:  Symposium on Air Quality Measurement Methods and Technology—2002, Air and Waste Management Association, November 13-15, 2002, San Francisco, CA.

J. Roney, N.J. Wheeler. Impact of emissions from a proposed Arizona clean fuels facility on UAM-IV predicted ozone concentrations in the Maricopa County ozone nonattainment area. Final report prepared for URS Corporation, Phoenix, AZ by Sonoma Technology, Inc., Petaluma, CA, STI-901520-2206-FR, June, 2002. 

S.G. Brown S.G., P.T. Roberts, J.A. Roney, and N.P. Hyslop, “Preliminary analyses of 2001 event-triggered VOC and carbonyl samples”.  Interim report prepared for Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission, Austin, TX by Sonoma Technology, Inc., Petaluma, CA, STI-900680-2188-IR, June, 2001.

N.J.M. Wheeler and J. Roney, “NARSTO model inter-comparison (NMI) study”, Report prepared for Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission, Austin, TX by Sonoma Technology, Inc., Petaluma, CA, STI-900560-2111-DD, August, 2001.

N.J.M. Wheeler and J.A. Roney, “An investigation of CAMx modeling issues with sensitivity simulations for the September 6-11, 1993 ozone episode in the Houston-Galveston area”, Report prepared for Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission, Austin, TX by Sonoma Technology, Inc., Petaluma, CA, STI-900560-2111-DD, August, 2001.

Presentations and Seminars

J.A. Roney
,”Eta-CALPUFF Dispersion Analysis of Colorado Sources and Their Effect on Visibility in the Surrounding Class I Federal Areas”, Presented at the AWMA Guideline on Air Quality Models: Applications and FLAG Developments -- An A&WMA Specialty Conference, Denver, CO, April 26-28, 2006.

J.A. Roney,”Eta-CALPUFF Meteorological Plume Analysis to Determine Potential Casualties Due to Catastrophic Failures at US/Canada Border Nuclear Power Plants”, Presented at the AWMA 98th Annual Conference, Minneapolis, MN, June 22, 2005

J.A. Roney, “Hybrid Wind Model Forecasts for Contaminant Transport”, 2nd UCCS NISSC Security Research Poster Presentation, November 14, 2003.

J.A. Roney, “Real-Time Predictions of Chemical or Biological Agent Wind Dispersion Using a Hybrid Model”, UCCS NISSC Security Research Poster Presentation, February 24, 2003.

S.G. Brown, P.T. Roberts, M.P. Buhr, N.J.M. Wheeler, J.A. Roney, “Characterization of 2001 Ozone Event-Triggered VOC and Carbonyl Samples in Houston”, Presented to the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission, Austin, TX November 20, 2002.

P.T. Roberts, S.G. Brown, H.H. Main , M.P. Buhr, N.P. Hyslop , C.P. MacDonald , J. Roney, C.A. Knoderer, D. Miller, “Preliminary VOC, olefin, and conceptual model results for Houston”, Presented to the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission, Austin, TX April 4, 2002.

N.J.M. Wheeler, F.W. Lurmann, P.A., Ryan , J.A. Roney, P.T. Roberts, C.P. MacDonald C.P, L.R., Chinkin, D.L. Coe D.L, S. Hanna S, N. Seaman, G. Hunter , D. Scalfano, “The SO2 and NO2 increment analysis for the Breton National Wilderness Area”, Presented to the Minerals Management Service and Scientific Review Board, New Orleans, Louisiana, December 13, STI-901369-2135, 2001.