Where will it go : atmospheric dispersion modeling out to 30 km to guide responders during accidental or hostile release of hazardous materials
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Where will it go : atmospheric dispersion modeling out to 30 km to guide responders during accidental or hostile release of hazardous materials

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    This report presents a critical survey of the state of dispersion modeling for emergency response to atmospheric release of hazardous materials. The focus is primarily on scales from 0 km to 30 km. Major advances in sensors and computing power over the past two decades have enabled impressive advances in the whole system of guidance for emergency responders. Tools available include both databases and, models. Friendly user interfaces guide the process from initial discovery, through evacuation or shelter, to medical treatment and cleanup. Transport and dispersion models have grown in sophistication along with the rest of the tools. Distributions of contaminants' concentration and dose can now be forecast, in principle, in the most complex situations of weather, terrain, and urban geometry. Estimates of uncertainty can be provided with these forecasts. The store of increasingly sophisticated datasets for testing and further development of models continues to grow. Tradeoffs between model complexity and run speed, and between measurement detail and affordable cost continue to loosen through increased power of computing and communication. For all this, dispersion remains a stochastic problem with large irreducible variance, especially within the time and resource constraints imposed by realworld emergency response. Responders must apply the guidance with judgment based on experience and training, preferably supported by direct, any-time access to people expert in dispersion modeling and interpretation of its results. Though no specific recommendations are given here, this document is intended as a resource from which such recommendations can come.
  • Content Notes:
    Ronald J. Dobosy.

    "June 2003."

    Also available online in PDF via the NOAA Central Library.

    Includes bibliographical references (pages 32-36).

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