Source characterization with a genetic algorithm-coupled dispersion-backward model incorporating SCIPUFF

Christopher T. Allen, Sue Ellen Haupt, George S. Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


This paper extends the approach of coupling a forward-looking dispersion model with a backward model using a genetic algorithm (GA) by incorporating a more sophisticated dispersion model [the Second-Order Closure Integrated Puff (SCIPUFF) model] into a GA-coupled system. This coupled system is validated with synthetic and field experiment data to demonstrate the potential applicability of the coupled model to emission source characterization. The coupled model incorporating SCIPUFF is first validated with synthetic data produced by SCIPUFF to isolate issues related directly to SCIPUFF's use in the coupled model. The coupled model is successful in characterizing sources even with a moderate amount of white noise introduced into the data. The similarity to corresponding results from previous studies using a more basic model suggests that the GA's performance is not sensitive to the dispersion model used. The coupled model is then tested using data from the Dipole Pride 26 field tests to determine its ability to characterize actual pollutant measurements despite the stochastic scatter inherent in turbulent dispersion. Sensitivity studies are run on various input parameters to gain insight used to produce a multistage process capable of a higher-quality source characterization than that produced by a single pass. Overall, the coupled model performed well in identifying approximate locations, times, and amounts of pollutant emissions. These model runs demonstrate the coupled model's potential application to source characterization for real-world problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)273-287
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


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