Dynamic Data-Driven Event Reconstruction for Atmospheric Releases

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Accidental or terrorist releases of hazardous materials into the atmosphere can impact large populations and cause significant loss of life or property damage. Plume predictions have been shown to be extremely valuable in guiding an effective and timely response. The two greatest sources of uncertainty in the prediction of the consequences of hazardous atmospheric releases result from poorly characterized source terms and lack of knowledge about the state of the atmosphere as reflected in the available meteorological data. In this report, we discuss the development of a new event reconstruction methodology that provides probabilistic source term estimates from field measurement ... continued below

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Kosovic, B; Belles, R; Chow, F K; Monache, L D; Dyer, K; Glascoe, L et al. February 22, 2007.

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Accidental or terrorist releases of hazardous materials into the atmosphere can impact large populations and cause significant loss of life or property damage. Plume predictions have been shown to be extremely valuable in guiding an effective and timely response. The two greatest sources of uncertainty in the prediction of the consequences of hazardous atmospheric releases result from poorly characterized source terms and lack of knowledge about the state of the atmosphere as reflected in the available meteorological data. In this report, we discuss the development of a new event reconstruction methodology that provides probabilistic source term estimates from field measurement data for both accidental and clandestine releases. Accurate plume dispersion prediction requires the following questions to be answered: What was released? When was it released? How much material was released? Where was it released? We have developed a dynamic data-driven event reconstruction capability which couples data and predictive models through Bayesian inference to obtain a solution to this inverse problem. The solution consists of a probability distribution of unknown source term parameters. For consequence assessment, we then use this probability distribution to construct a ''''composite'' forward plume prediction which accounts for the uncertainties in the source term. Since in most cases of practical significance it is impossible to find a closed form solution, Bayesian inference is accomplished by utilizing stochastic sampling methods. This approach takes into consideration both measurement and forward model errors and thus incorporates all the sources of uncertainty in the solution to the inverse problem. Stochastic sampling methods have the additional advantage of being suitable for problems characterized by a non-Gaussian distribution of source term parameters and for cases in which the underlying dynamical system is non-linear. We initially developed a Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) stochastic methodology and demonstrated its effectiveness by reconstructing a wide range of release scenarios, using synthetic as well as real-world data. Data for evaluation of our event reconstruction capability were drawn from the short-range Prairie Grass, Copenhagen, and Joint Urban 2003 field experiments and a continental-scale real-world accidental release in Algeciras, Spain. The method was tested using a variety of forward models, including a Gaussian puff dispersion model INPUFF, the regional-to-continental scale Lagrangian dispersion model LODI (the work-horse real-time operational dispersion model used by the National Atmospheric Release Advisory Center), the empirical urban model UDM, and the building-scale computational computational fluid dynamics code FEM3MP. The robustness of the Bayesian methodology was demonstrated via the use of subsets of the available concentration data and by introducing error into some of the measurements. These tests showed that the Bayesian approach is capable of providing reliable estimates of source characteristics even in cases of limited or significantly corrupted data. For more effective treatment of strongly time-dependent problems, we developed a Sequential Monte Carlo (SMC) approach. To achieve the best performance under a wide range of conditions we combined SMC and MCMC sampling into a hybrid methodology. We compared the effectiveness and advantages of this approach relative to MCMC using a set of synthetic data examples. Our dynamic data-driven event reconstruction capability seamlessly integrates observational data streams with predictive models, in order to provide the best possible estimates of unknown source term parameters, as well as optimal and timely situation analyses consistent with both models and data.

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PDF-file: 235 pages; size: 5.9 Mbytes

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  • Report No.: UCRL-TR-229417
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-48
  • DOI: 10.2172/908126 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 908126
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc888147

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  • February 22, 2007

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

Description Last Updated

  • Dec. 5, 2016, 2:32 p.m.

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Kosovic, B; Belles, R; Chow, F K; Monache, L D; Dyer, K; Glascoe, L et al. Dynamic Data-Driven Event Reconstruction for Atmospheric Releases, report, February 22, 2007; Livermore, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc888147/: accessed September 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.