Numerical simulations of atmospheric dispersion of iodine-131 by different models

Ádám Leelossy, Róbert Mészáros, Attila Kovács, István Lagzi, Tibor Kovács

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)


Nowadays, several dispersion models are available to simulate the transport processes of air pollutants and toxic substances including radionuclides in the atmosphere. Reliability of atmospheric transport models has been demonstrated in several recent cases from local to global scale; however, very few actual emission data are available to evaluate model results in real-life cases. In this study, the atmospheric dispersion of 131I emitted to the atmosphere during an industrial process was simulated with different models, namely the WRF-Chem Eulerian online coupled model and the HYSPLIT and the RAPTOR Lagrangian models. Although only limited data of 131I detections has been available, the accuracy of modeled plume direction could be evaluated in complex late autumn weather situations. For the studied cases, the general reliability of models has been demonstrated. However, serious uncertainties arise related to low level inversions, above all in case of an emission event on 4 November 2011, when an important wind shear caused a significant difference between simulated and real transport directions. Results underline the importance of prudent interpretation of dispersion model results and the identification of weather conditions with a potential to cause large model errors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number0172312
JournalPloS one
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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