EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Comparison study for different approaches in applying High-Resolution Atmospheric Transport Modelling based on validation with Xe-133 observations in Europe

Anne Philipp1, Michael Schoeppner2, Jolanta Kusmierczyk-Michulec1, Pierre Bourgouin1, and Martin Kalinowski1
Anne Philipp et al.
  • 1CTBTO, International Data Centre, Software Applications Section, Scientific Methods Unit
  • 2CTBTO, On-Site Inspection Division, Training Section

The International Data Centre (IDC) of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO) investigates the best method to add the utilisation of High-Resolution Atmospheric Transport Modelling (HRATM) in their operational and automatised pipeline. Supporting the decision process, the IDC accomplished a comparison study with different approaches for applying HRATM. An initial validation study with the HRATM Flexpart-WRF, which is a Lagrangian particle dispersion model (LPDM), showed a performance which is dependent on the scenario and delivered results comparable to the conventional Flexpart model. The approach uses the Weather Research and Forecasting model (WRF) to generate high-resolution meteorological input data for Flexpart-WRF and WRF was driven by the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) data having a horizontal resolution of 0.5 degrees and time resolution of 1h. Based on this initial study, an extended study was conducted to compare the results to FLEXPART-WRF using input data from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts  (ECMWF) for WRF and to results from the conventional Flexpart model using high-resolution ECMWF input data. Furthermore, a sensitivity study was performed to optimize the physical and computational parameters of WRF to test possible meteorological improvements prior to the comparison study.

The performance of the different approaches is evaluated by using observational data and includes statistical metrics which were established during the first ATM challenge in 2016. Observational data of seven episodes of elevated Xe-133 concentrations were selected from the IMS (International Monitoring System) noble gas system DEX33 located in Germany. Each episode consists of 6 to 11 subsequent samples with each sample being taken over 24 hours. Both Flexpart models were using the source terms from a medical isotope production facility in Belgium to simulate the resulting concentration time series at the DEX33 station for different output resolutions. Backward simulations for each sample were conducted, and in the case of Flexpart-WRF nested input of increased resolution around the source and receptor was used.

The simulated concentrations, as well as the measurements, are also compared to the simulated results produced by the conventional Flexpart model to guide the decision-making process.

How to cite: Philipp, A., Schoeppner, M., Kusmierczyk-Michulec, J., Bourgouin, P., and Kalinowski, M.: Comparison study for different approaches in applying High-Resolution Atmospheric Transport Modelling based on validation with Xe-133 observations in Europe , EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-7891,, 2020


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