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Innovative Water Management Technology to Reduce Environment Impacts of Produced Water

Description: Clemson University with Chevron as an industry partner developed and applied treatment technology using constructed wetland systems to decrease targeted constituents in simulated and actual produced waters to achieve reuse criteria and discharge limits. Pilot-scale and demonstration constructed wetland treatment system (CWTS) experiments led to design strategies for treating a variety of constituents of concern (COCs) in produced waters including divalent metals, metalloids, oil and grease, and ammonia. Targeted biogeochemical pathways for treatment of COCs in pilot-scale CWTS experiments included divalent metal sulfide precipitation through dissimilatory sulfate reduction, metal precipitation through oxidation, reduction of selenite to insoluble elemental selenium, aerobic biodegradation of oil, nitrification of ammonia to nitrate, denitrification of nitrate to nitrogen gas, separation of oil using an oilwater separator, and sorption of ammonia to zeolite. Treatment performance results indicated that CWTSs can be designed and built to promote specific environmental and geochemical conditions in order for targeted biogeochemical pathways to operate. The demonstration system successfully achieved consistent removal extents even while inflow concentrations of COCs in the produced water differed by orders of magnitude. Design strategies used in the pilot-scale and demonstration CWTSs to promote specific conditions that can be applied to designing full-scale CWTSs include plant and soil selection, water-depth selection, addition of amendments, and hydraulic retention time (HRT). These strategies allow conditions within a CWTS to be modified to achieve ranges necessary for the preferred biogeochemical treatment pathways. In the case of renovating a produced water containing COCs that require different biogeochemical pathways for treatment, a CWTS can be designed with sequential cells that promote different conditions. For example, the pilot-scale CWTS for post-reverse osmosis produced water was designed to promote oxidizing conditions within the first wetland cell for nitrification of ammonia, and the subsequent three cells were designed to promote reducing conditions for denitrification of ...
Date: May 15, 2013
Creator: Castle, James; Rodgers, John; Alley, Bethany; Coffey, Ruthanne; Jurinko, Kristen; Pardue, Michael et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Innovative Water Management Technology to Reduce Environment Impacts of Produced Water

Description: Clemson University with Chevron as an industry partner developed and applied treatment technology using constructed wetland systems to decrease targeted constituents in simulated and actual produced waters to achieve reuse criteria and discharge limits. Pilot-scale and demonstration constructed wetland treatment system (CWTS) experiments led to design strategies for treating a variety of constituents of concern (COCs) in produced waters including divalent metals, metalloids, oil and grease, and ammonia. Targeted biogeochemical pathways for treatment of COCs in pilot-scale CWTS experiments included divalent metal sulfide precipitation through dissimilatory sulfate reduction, metal precipitation through oxidation, reduction of selenite to insoluble elemental selenium, aerobic biodegradation of oil, nitrification of ammonia to nitrate, denitrification of nitrate to nitrogen gas, separation of oil using an oilwater separator, and sorption of ammonia to zeolite. Treatment performance results indicated that CWTSs can be designed and built to promote specific environmental and geochemical conditions in order for targeted biogeochemical pathways to operate. The demonstration system successfully achieved consistent removal extents even while inflow concentrations of COCs in the produced water differed by orders of magnitude. Design strategies used in the pilot-scale and demonstration CWTSs to promote specific conditions that can be applied to designing full-scale CWTSs include plant and soil selection, water-depth selection, addition of amendments, and hydraulic retention time (HRT). These strategies allow conditions within a CWTS to be modified to achieve ranges necessary for the preferred biogeochemical treatment pathways. In the case of renovating a produced water containing COCs that require different biogeochemical pathways for treatment, a CWTS can be designed with sequential cells that promote different conditions. For example, the pilot-scale CWTS for post-reverse osmosis produced water was designed to promote oxidizing conditions within the first wetland cell for nitrification of ammonia, and the subsequent three cells were designed to promote reducing conditions for denitrification of ...
Date: May 15, 2013
Creator: Castle, James; Rodgers, John; Alley, Bethany; Coffey, Ruthanne; Jurinko, Kristen; Pardue, Michael et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Innovative Water Management Technology to Reduce Environmental Impacts of Produced Water

Description: Clemson University with Chevron as an industry partner developed and applied treatment technology using constructed wetland systems to decrease targeted constituents in simulated and actual produced waters to achieve reuse criteria and discharge limits. Pilot-scale and demonstration constructed wetland treatment system (CWTS) experiments led to design strategies for treating a variety of constituents of concern (COCs) in produced waters including divalent metals, metalloids, oil and grease, and ammonia. Targeted biogeochemical pathways for treatment of COCs in pilot-scale CWTS experiments included divalent metal sulfide precipitation through dissimilatory sulfate reduction, metal precipitation through oxidation, reduction of selenite to insoluble elemental selenium, aerobic biodegradation of oil, nitrification of ammonia to nitrate, denitrification of nitrate to nitrogen gas, separation of oil using an oilwater separator, and sorption of ammonia to zeolite. Treatment performance results indicated that CWTSs can be designed and built to promote specific environmental and geochemical conditions in order for targeted biogeochemical pathways to operate. The demonstration system successfully achieved consistent removal extents even while inflow concentrations of COCs in the produced water differed by orders of magnitude. Design strategies used in the pilot-scale and demonstration CWTSs to promote specific conditions that can be applied to designing full-scale CWTSs include plant and soil selection, water-depth selection, addition of amendments, and hydraulic retention time (HRT). These strategies allow conditions within a CWTS to be modified to achieve ranges necessary for the preferred biogeochemical treatment pathways. In the case of renovating a produced water containing COCs that require different biogeochemical pathways for treatment, a CWTS can be designed with sequential cells that promote different conditions. For example, the pilot-scale CWTS for post-reverse osmosis produced water was designed to promote oxidizing conditions within the first wetland cell for nitrification of ammonia, and the subsequent three cells were designed to promote reducing conditions for denitrification of ...
Date: May 15, 2013
Creator: Castle, James; Rodgers, John; Alley, Bethany; Beebe, Alex; Coffey, Ruthanne; Jurinko, Kristen et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Air Quality Scoping Study for Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, Nevada (EMSI April 2007)

Description: The Desert Research Institute (DRI) is performing a scoping study as part of the U.S.Department of Energy’s Yucca Mountain Environmental Monitoring Systems Initiative (EMSI). The main objective is to obtain baseline air quality information for Yucca Mountain and an area surrounding the Nevada Test Site (NTS). Air quality and meteorological monitoring and sampling equipment housed in a mobile trailer (shelter) is collecting data at seven sites outside the NTS, including Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, Sarcobatus Flat, Beatty, Rachel, Caliente, Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge, and Crater Flat, and at four sites on the NTS. The trailer is stationed at any one site for approximately eight weeks at a time. Letter reports provide summaries of air quality and meteorological data, on completion of each site’s sampling program.
Date: April 1, 2007
Creator: Johann Engelbrecht, Ilias Kavouras, Dave Campbell, Scott Campbell, Steven Kohl and David Shafer
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Development of RWHet to Simulate Contaminant Transport in Fractured Porous Media

Description: Accurate simulation of matrix diffusion in regional-scale dual-porosity and dual-permeability media is a critical issue for the DOE Underground Test Area (UGTA) program, given the prevalence of fractured geologic media on the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS). Contaminant transport through regional-scale fractured media is typically quantified by particle-tracking based Lagrangian solvers through the inclusion of dual-domain mass transfer algorithms that probabilistically determine particle transfer between fractures and unfractured matrix blocks. UGTA applications include a wide variety of fracture aperture and spacing, effective diffusion coefficients ranging four orders of magnitude, and extreme end member retardation values. This report incorporates the current dual-domain mass transfer algorithms into the well-known particle tracking code RWHet [LaBolle, 2006], and then tests and evaluates the updated code. We also develop and test a direct numerical simulation (DNS) approach to replace the classical transfer probability method in characterizing particle dynamics across the fracture/matrix interface. The final goal of this work is to implement the algorithm identified as most efficient and effective into RWHet, so that an accurate and computationally efficient software suite can be built for dual-porosity/dual-permeability applications. RWHet is a mature Lagrangian transport simulator with a substantial user-base that has undergone significant development and model validation. In this report, we also substantially tested the capability of RWHet in simulating passive and reactive tracer transport through regional-scale, heterogeneous media. Four dual-domain mass transfer methodologies were considered in this work. We first developed the empirical transfer probability approach proposed by Liu et al. [2000], and coded it into RWHet. The particle transfer probability from one continuum to the other is proportional to the ratio of the mass entering the other continuum to the mass in the current continuum. Numerical examples show that this method is limited to certain ranges of parameters, due to an intrinsic assumption of an ...
Date: July 1, 2012
Creator: Zhang, Yong; LaBolle, Eric; Reeves, Donald M & Russell, Charles
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Tonopah Test Range Air Monitoring: CY2012 Meteorological, Radiological, and Airborne Particulate Observations

Description: In 1963, the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), predecessor to the US Department of Energy (DOE), implemented Operation Roller Coaster on the Tonopah Test Range (TTR) and an adjacent area of the Nevada Test and Training Range (NTTR) (formerly the Nellis Air Force Range (NAFR)). Operation Roller Coaster consisted of four tests in which chemical explosions were detonated in the presence of nuclear devices to assess the dispersal of radionuclides and evaluate the effectiveness of storage structures to contain the ejected radionuclides. These tests resulted in dispersal of plutonium over the ground surface downwind of the test ground zero. Three tests, Clean Slate 1, 2, and 3, were conducted on the TTR in Cactus Flat; the fourth, Double Tracks, was conducted in Stonewall Flat on the NTTR. DOE is working to clean up and close all four sites. Substantial cleaned up has been accomplished at Double Tracks and Clean Slate 1. Cleanup of Clean Slate 2 and 3 is on the DOE planning horizon for some time in the next several years. The Desert Research Institute installed two monitoring stations, number 400 at the Sandia National Laboratories Range Operations Center and number 401 at Clean Slate 3, in 2008 and a third monitoring station, number 402 at Clean Slate 1, in 2011 to measure radiological, meteorological, and dust conditions. The primary objectives of the data collection and analysis effort are to (1) monitor the concentration of radiological parameters in dust particles suspended in air, (2) determine whether winds are re-distributing radionuclides or contaminated soil material, (3) evaluate the controlling meteorological conditions if wind transport is occurring, and (4) measure ancillary radiological, meteorological, and environmental parameters that might provide insight to the above assessments. The following observations are based on data collected during CY2012. The mean annual concentration of gross alpha and ...
Date: July 1, 2013
Creator: Mizell, Steve A; Nikolich, George; Shadel, Craig; McCurdy, Greg & Miller, Julianne J
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

NNSS Soils Monitoring: Plutonium Valley (CAU366) FY2012

Description: The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), Nevada Site Office (NSO), Environmental Restoration Soils Activity has authorized the Desert Research Institute (DRI) to conduct field assessments of potential sediment transport of contaminated soil from Corrective Action Unit (CAU) 366, Area 11 Plutonium Valley Dispersion Sites Contamination Area (CA) during precipitation runoff events. Field measurements at the T-4 Atmospheric Test Site (CAU 370) suggest that radionuclide-contaminated soils may have migrated along a shallow ephemeral drainage that traverses the site (NNSA/NSO, 2009). (It is not entirely clear how contaminated soils got into their present location at the T-4 Site, but flow to the channel has been redirected and the contamination does not appear to be migrating at present.) Aerial surveys in selected portions of the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) also suggest that radionuclide-contaminated soils may be migrating along ephemeral channels in Areas 3, 8, 11, 18, and 25 (Colton, 1999). In Area 11, several low-level airborne surveys of the Plutonium Valley Dispersion Sites (CAU 366) show plumes of Americium 241 (Am-241) extending along ephemeral channels (Figure 1, marker numbers 5 and 6) below Corrective Action Site (CAS) 11-23-03 (marker number 3) and CAS 11 23-04 (marker number 4) (Colton, 1999). Plutonium Valley in Area 11 of the NNSS was selected for the study because of the aerial survey evidence suggesting downstream transport of radionuclide-contaminated soil. The aerial survey (Figure 1) shows a well defined finger of elevated radioactivity (marker number 5) extending to the southwest from the southernmost detonation site (marker number 4). This finger of contamination overlies a drainage channel mapped on the topographic base map used for presentation of the survey data suggesting surface runoff as a likely cause of the contaminated area. Additionally, instrumenting sites strongly suspected of conveying soil from areas of surface ...
Date: January 1, 2013
Creator: Julianne J Miller, Steve A. Mizell, George Nikolich, Greg McCurdy, and Scott Campbell
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Data Report: Meteorological and Evapotranspiration Data from Sagebrush and Pinyon Pine/Juniper Communities at Pahute Mesa, Nevada National Security Site, 2011-2012

Description: Pahute Mesa is a groundwater recharge area at the Nevada National Security Site. Because underground nuclear testing was conducted at Pahute Mesa, groundwater recharge may transport radionuclides from underground test sites downward to the water table; the amount of groundwater recharge is also an important component of contaminant transport models. To estimate the amount of groundwater recharge at Pahute Mesa, an INFIL3.0 recharge-runoff model is being developed. Two eddy covariance (EC) stations were installed on Pahute Mesa to estimate evapotranspiration (ET) to support the groundwater recharge modeling project. This data report describes the methods that were used to estimate ET and collect meteorological data. Evapotranspiration was estimated for two predominant plant communities on Pahute Mesa; one site was located in a sagebrush plant community, the other site in a pinyon pine/juniper community. Annual ET was estimated to be 310±13.9 mm for the sagebrush site and 347±15.9 mm for the pinyon pine/juniper site (March 26, 2011 to March 26, 2012). Annual precipitation measured with unheated tipping bucket rain gauges was 179 mm at the sagebrush site and 159 mm at the pinyon pine/juniper site. Annual precipitation measured with bulk precipitation gauges was 222 mm at the sagebrush site and 227 mm at the pinyon pine/juniper site (March 21, 2011 to March 28, 2012). A comparison of tipping bucket versus bulk precipitation data showed that total precipitation measured by the tipping bucket rain gauges was 17 to 20 percent lower than the bulk precipitation gauges. These differences were most likely the result of the unheated tipping bucket precipitation gauges not measuring frozen precipitation as accurately as the bulk precipitation gauges. In this one-year study, ET exceeded precipitation at both study sites because estimates of ET included precipitation that fell during the winter of 2010-2011 prior to EC instrumentation and the precipitation gauges ...
Date: April 1, 2013
Creator: Jasoni, Richard L; Larsen, Jessica D; Lyles, Brad F.; Healey, John M; Cooper, Clay A; Hershey, Ronald L et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Monitoring Soil Erosion on a Burned Site in the Mojave-Great Basin Transition Zone: Final Report for the Jacob Fire Site

Description: A historic return interval of 100 years for large fires in the U.S. southwestern deserts is being replaced by one where fires may reoccur as frequently as every 20 to 30 years. The shortened return interval, which translates to an increase in fires, has implications for management of Soil Corrective Action Units (CAUs) and Corrective Action Sites (CASs) for which the Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration Nevada Field Office has responsibility. A series of studies was initiated at uncontaminated analog sites to better understand the possible impacts of erosion and transport by wind and water should contaminated soil sites burn. The first of these studies was undertaken at the Jacob Fire site approximately 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) north of Hiko, Nevada. A lightning-caused fire burned approximately 200 hectares during August 6-8, 2008. The site is representative of a transition between Mojave and Great Basin desert ecoregions on the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS), where the largest number of Soil CAUs/CASs are located. The area that burned at the Jacob Fire site was primarily a Coleogyne ramosissima (blackbrush) and Ephedra nevadensis (Mormon tea) community, also an abundant shrub assemblage in the similar transition zone on the NNSS. This report summarizes three years of measurements after the fire. Seven measurement campaigns at the Jacob Fire site were completed. Measurements were made on burned ridge (upland) and drainage sites, and on burned and unburned sites beneath and between vegetation. A Portable In-Situ Wind Erosion Lab (PI-SWERL) was used to estimate emissions of suspended particles at different wind speeds. Context for these measurements was provided through a meteorological tower that was installed at the Jacob Fire site to obtain local, relevant environmental parameters. Filter samples, collected from the exhaust of the PI-SWERL during measurements, were analyzed for chemical composition. Runoff and water ...
Date: June 1, 2013
Creator: Miller, Julianne; Etyemezian, Vic; Cablk, Mary E.; Shillito, Rose & Shafer, David
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Estimation of Groundwater Recharge at Pahute Mesa using the Chloride Mass-Balance Method

Description: Groundwater recharge on Pahute Mesa was estimated using the chloride mass-balance (CMB) method. This method relies on the conservative properties of chloride to trace its movement from the atmosphere as dry- and wet-deposition through the soil zone and ultimately to the saturated zone. Typically, the CMB method assumes no mixing of groundwater with different chloride concentrations; however, because groundwater is thought to flow into Pahute Mesa from valleys north of Pahute Mesa, groundwater flow rates (i.e., underflow) and chloride concentrations from Kawich Valley and Gold Flat were carefully considered. Precipitation was measured with bulk and tipping-bucket precipitation gauges installed for this study at six sites on Pahute Mesa. These data, along with historical precipitation amounts from gauges on Pahute Mesa and estimates from the PRISM model, were evaluated to estimate mean annual precipitation. Chloride deposition from the atmosphere was estimated by analyzing quarterly samples of wet- and dry-deposition for chloride in the bulk gauges and evaluating chloride wet-deposition amounts measured at other locations by the National Atmospheric Deposition Program. Mean chloride concentrations in groundwater were estimated using data from the UGTA Geochemistry Database, data from other reports, and data from samples collected from emplacement boreholes for this study. Calculations were conducted assuming both no underflow and underflow from Kawich Valley and Gold Flat. Model results estimate recharge to be 30 mm/yr with a standard deviation of 18 mm/yr on Pahute Mesa, for elevations >1800 m amsl. These estimates assume Pahute Mesa recharge mixes completely with underflow from Kawich Valley and Gold Flat. The model assumes that precipitation, chloride concentration in bulk deposition, underflow and its chloride concentration, have been constant over the length of time of recharge.
Date: July 1, 2013
Creator: Cooper, Clay A; Hershey, Ronald L; Healey, John M & Lyles, Brad F
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Monitoring Soil Erosion of a Burn Site in the Central Basin and Range Ecoregion: Final Report on Measurements at the Gleason Fire Site, Nevada

Description: The increase in wildfires in arid and semi-arid parts of Nevada and elsewhere in the southwestern United States has implications for post-closure management and long-term stewardship for Soil Corrective Action Units (CAUs) on the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) for which the Nevada Field Office of the United States Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration has responsibility. For many CAUs and Corrective Action Sites, where closure-in-place alternatives are now being implemented or considered, there is a chance that these sites could burn over at some time while they still pose a risk to the environment or human health, given the long half lives of some of the radionuclide contaminants. This study was initiated to examine the effects and duration of wildfire on wind and water erodibility on sites analogous to those that exist on the NNSS. The data analyzed herein were gathered at the prescribed Gleason Fire site near Ely, Nevada, a site comparable to the northern portion of the NNSS. Quantification of wind erosion was conducted with a Portable In-Situ Wind ERosion Lab (PI-SWERL) on unburned soils, and on interspace and plant understory soils within the burned area. The PI-SWERL was used to estimate emissions of suspendible particles (particulate matter with aerodynamic diameters less than or equal to 10 micrometers) at different wind speeds. Filter samples, collected from the exhaust of the PI-SWERL during measurements, were analyzed for chemical composition. Based on nearly three years of data, the Gleason Fire site does not appear to have returned to pre burn wind erosion levels. Chemical composition data of suspendible particles are variable and show a trend toward pre-burn levels, but provide little insight into how the composition has been changing over time since the fire. Soil, runoff, and sediment data were collected from the Gleason Fire site to monitor ...
Date: October 1, 2013
Creator: Miller, Julianne; Etyemezian, Vicken; Shillito, Rose; Cablk, Mary; Fenstermaker, Lynn & Shafer, David
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Monitoring Potential Transport of Radioactive Contaminants in Shallow Ephemeral Channels: FY 2012

Description: The US Department of Energy (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), Nevada Site Office (NSO), Environmental Management’s Soils Activity has authorized the Desert Research Institute (DRI) to conduct field assessments of potential sediment transport of contaminated soil from Corrective Action Unit (CAU) 550, Smoky Contamination Area (CA), during precipitation runoff events. CAU 550 includes Corrective Action Sites (CASs) 08-23-03, 08-23-04, 08-23-06, and 08-23-07; these CASs are associated with tests designated Ceres, Smoky, Oberon, and Titania, respectively. Field measurements at the T-4 Atmospheric Test Site, CAU 370, suggest that radioactive material may have migrated along a shallow ephemeral drainage that traverses the site (NNSA/NSO, 2009). (It is not entirely clear how contaminated soils got into their present location at the T-4 Site, but flow to the channel has been redirected and the contamination does not appear to be migrating at present.) Although DRI initially looked at the CAU 370 site, given that it could not be confirmed that migration of contamination into the channel was natural, an alternate study site was selected at CAU 550. Aerial surveys in selected portions of the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) also suggest that radioactivity may be migrating along ephemeral channels in Areas 3, 8, 11, 18, and 25 (Colton, 1999). Figure 1 shows the results of a low-elevation aerial survey (Colton, 1999) in Area 8. The numbered markers in Figure 1 identify ground zero for three safety experiments conducted in 1958 [Oberon (number 1), Ceres (number 2), and Titania (number 4)] and a weapons effects test conducted in 1964, Mudpack (number 3). This survey suggests contaminants may be migrating down the ephemeral channels that traverse CAU 550. Note particularly the lobe of higher concentration extending southeastward at the south end of the high concentration area marked as number 3 in Figure 1. CAU 550 ...
Date: September 1, 2012
Creator: Miller, Julianne J.; Mizell, Steve A.; McCurdy, Greg & Campbell, Scott A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Advanced Low Energy Enzyme Catalyzed Solvent for CO{sub 2} Capture

Description: A proof-of-concept biocatalyst enhanced solvent process was developed and demonstrated in an integrated bench-scale system using coal post combustion flue gas. The biocatalyst was deployed as a coating on M500X structured packing. Rate enhancement was evaluated using a non-volatile and non- toxic 20 wt% potassium carbonate solution. Greater than 500-fold volumetric scale-up from laboratory to bench scale was demonstrated in this project. Key technical achievements included: 10-fold mass transfer enhancement demonstrated in laboratory testing relative to blank potassium carbonate at 45°C; ~ 7-fold enhancement over blank in bench-scale field testing at National Carbon Capture Center; aerosol emissions were below detection limits (< 0.8 ppm); 90% capture was demonstrated at ~19.5 Nm{sup 3}/hr (dry basis); and ~ 80% CO{sub 2} capture was demonstrated at ~ 30 Nm{sup 3}/hr (dry basis) for more than 2800-hrs on flue gas with minimal detectible decline in activity. The regeneration energy requirement was 3.5 GJ/t CO{sub 2} for this solvent, which was below the target of <2.1 GJ/t CO{sub 2}. Bench unit testing revealed kinetic limitations in the un-catalyzed stripper at around 85°C, but process modeling based on bench unit data showed that equivalent work of less than 300 kWh/t CO{sub 2} including all CO{sub 2} compression can be achieved at lower temperature stripping conditions. Cost analysis showed that 20% potassium carbonate in a basic solvent flow sheet with biocatalyst coated packing has economic performance comparable to the reference NETL Case-12, 30% MEA. A detailed techno-economic analysis indicated that addition of catalyst in the stripper could reduce the cost of capture by ~6% and cost of avoided CO{sub 2} by ~10% below reference NETL Case-12. Based on these results, a directional plan was identified to reduce the cost of CO{sub 2} capture in future work.
Date: September 30, 2013
Creator: Zaks, Alex
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Cloud/Aerosol Parameterizations: Application and Improvement of General Circulation Models

Description: One of the biggest uncertainties associated with climate models and climate forcing is the treatment of aerosols and their effects on clouds. The effect of aerosols on clouds can be divided into two components: The first indirect effect is the forcing associated with increases in droplet concentrations; the second indirect effect is the forcing associated with changes in liquid water path, cloud morphology, and cloud lifetime. Both are highly uncertain. This project applied a cloud-resolving model to understand the response of clouds under a variety of conditions to changes in aerosols. These responses are categorized according to the large-scale meteorological conditions that lead to the response. Meteorological conditions were sampled from various fields, which, together with a global aerosol model determination of the change in aerosols from present day to pre-industrial conditions, was used to determine a first order estimate of the response of global cloud fields to changes in aerosols. The response of the clouds in the NCAR CAM3 GCM coupled to our global aerosol model were tested by examining whether the response is similar to that of the cloud resolving model and methods for improving the representation of clouds and cloud/aerosol interactions were examined.
Date: June 30, 2012
Creator: Penner, Joyce
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department