Review of requirements for air quality simulation models

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  • Air quality models have long been recognized as a valuable tool for the proper management of the air resources of a region. In view of the high costs involved in adapting and operating air quality models, management of the Alberta Oil Sands Environmental Research Program (AOSERP) considered it advisable to update the user survey carried out in February 1977 (Padro 1977) to ensure that selected air quality models would relate to the improved perceptions of model requirements by potential users. The specific objectives of the present study were to define and priorize types of air quality problems by a survey of user requirements and to suggest types of air quality simulation models which will meet identified needs. The model selection procedure developed for this study involved application, implementation, and tmportance parameters to characterize the model types. The application parameters assigned to each model type reflected how well the model type simulated various levels of physical processes which determined the wind flow and dispersion from an industrial source. The implementation parameters considered the operational requirements for input data, computers, and technical personnel. Importance parameters evaluated the degree to which the various physical processes were important for a particular identified user need. This model selection methodology ensured a systematic consideration of the many factors involved in choosing a recommended model type.

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