Evaluation of Three Air Dispersion Models: ISCST2, ISCLT2, and Screen2 for Mercury Emissions in an Urban Area

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The goal of this paper is to compare and evaluate the performance of three air quality regulatory models for mercury releases. The models include Industrial Source Complex Short Term model (ISCST2), Industrial Source Complex Long Term model (ISCLT2), and SCREEN2. The evaluation is conducted in multiple point source urban environment using meteorological data, emission inventory and monitoring data for eight stations for the year 1990 to 1992. The performance of the models is evaluated using eight statistical parameters.

The comparison of models results for both quarterly and annual averaging periods shows that ISCST2 predictions qualitatively match the observed concentrations; whereas SCREEN2 predicts highest concentrations and ISCLT2 the lowest concentrations. The summary of statistical analysis obtained by using three different methods of observed concentration (Co) and predicted concentrations (Cp) comparison show that the ISCST2 has a better overall performance than ISCLT2 and SCREEN2 models. However, none of the models met the criteria for a reasonable model. Summaries of 95% confidence limits on normalize mean square error (NMSE), geometric mean variance (VG) and geometric mean bias (MG) for each and among model indicate that of the three models, ISCST2 has the best overall performance indicators. Improved model performance may be achieved by incorporating different types of mercury forms into emission rate and air dispersion calculations.

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