Some observational and modeling studies of the atmospheric boundary layer at Mississippi Gulf Coast for air pollution dispersion assessment

Anjaneyulu Yerramilli*, Venkata Srinivas Challa, Jayakumar Indracanti, Hariprasad Dasari, Julius Baham, Chuck Patrick, John Young, Robert Hughes, Lorren D. White, Mark G. Hardy, Shelton Swanier

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Coastal atmospheric conditions widely vary from those over inland due to the land-sea interface, temperature contrast and the consequent development of local circulations. In this study a field meteorological experiment was conducted to measure vertical structure of boundary layer during the period 25-29 June, 2007 at three locations Seabee base, Harrison and Wiggins sites in the Mississippi coast. A GPS Sonde along with slow ascent helium balloon and automated weather stations equipped with slow and fast response sensors were used in the experiment. GPS sonde were launched at three specific times (0700 LT, 1300 LT and 1800 LT) during the experiment days. The observations indicate shallow boundary layer near the coast which gradually develops inland. The weather research and forecasting (WRF) meso-scale atmospheric model and a Lagrangian particle dispersion model (HYSPLIT) are used to simulate the lower atmospheric flow and dispersion in a range of 100 km from the coast for 28-30 June, 2007. The simulated meteorological parameters were compared with the experimental observations. The meso-scale model results show significant temporal and spatial variations in the meteorological fields as a result of development of sea breeze flow, its coupling with the large scale flow field and the ensuing alteration in the mixing depth across the coast. Simulated ground-level concentrations of SO2 from four elevated point sources located along the coast indicate diurnal variation and impact of the local sea-land breeze on the direction of the plume. Model concentration levels were highest during the stable morning condition and during the sea-breeze time in the afternoon. The highest concentrations were found up to 40 km inland during sea breeze time. The study illustrates the application of field meteorological observations for the validation of WRF which is coupled to HYSPLIT for dispersion assessment in the coastal region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)484-497
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • ABL experiment
  • Dispersion
  • Mesoscale
  • WRF

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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