Modeling natural emissions in the Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) Model–I: building an emissions data base
- Tennessee Valley Authority, P.O. Box 1010, Muscle Shoals, Alabama, 35662-1010, USA
Abstract. A natural emissions inventory for the continental United States and surrounding territories is needed in order to use the US Environmental Protection Agency Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) Model for simulating natural air quality. The CMAQ air modeling system (including the Sparse Matrix Operator Kernel Emissions (SMOKE) emissions processing system) currently estimates non-methane volatile organic compound (NMVOC) emissions from biogenic sources, nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from soils, ammonia from animals, several types of particulate and reactive gas emissions from fires, as well as sea salt emissions. However, there are several emission categories that are not commonly treated by the standard CMAQ Model system. Most notable among these are nitrogen oxide emissions from lightning, reduced sulfur emissions from oceans, geothermal features and other continental sources, windblown dust particulate, and reactive chlorine gas emissions linked with sea salt chloride. A review of past emissions modeling work and existing global emissions data bases provides information and data necessary for preparing a more complete natural emissions data base for CMAQ applications. A model-ready natural emissions data base is developed to complement the anthropogenic emissions inventory used by the VISTAS Regional Planning Organization in its work analyzing regional haze based on the year 2002. This new data base covers a modeling domain that includes the continental United States plus large portions of Canada, Mexico and surrounding oceans. Comparing July 2002 source data reveals that natural emissions account for 16% of total gaseous sulfur (sulfur dioxide, dimethylsulfide and hydrogen sulfide), 44% of total NOx, 80% of reactive carbonaceous gases (NMVOCs and carbon monoxide), 28% of ammonia, 96% of total chlorine (hydrochloric acid, nitryl chloride and sea salt chloride), and 84% of fine particles (i.e., those smaller than 2.5 μm in size) released into the atmosphere. The seasonality and relative importance of the various natural emissions categories are described.