An atmospheric dispersion model for the environmental impact assessment of thermal power plants in Japan--a method for evaluating topographical effects

J Air Waste Manag Assoc. 2002 Mar;52(3):313-23. doi: 10.1080/10473289.2002.10470780.


An atmospheric dispersion model was developed for the environmental impact assessment of thermal power plants in Japan, and a method for evaluating topographical effects using this model was proposed. The atmospheric dispersion model consists of an airflow model with a turbulence closure model based on the algebraic Reynolds stress model and a Lagrangian particle dispersion model (LPDM). The evaluation of the maximum concentration of air pollutants such as SO2, NOx, and suspended particulate matter is usually considered of primary importance for environmental impact assessment. Three indices were therefore estimated by the atmospheric dispersion model: the ratios (alpha and beta, respectively) of the maximum concentration and the distance of the point of the maximum concentration from the source over topography to the respective values over a flat plane, and the relative concentration distribution [gamma(x)] along the ground surface projection of the plume axis normalized by the maximum concentration over a flat plane. The atmospheric dispersion model was applied to the topography around a power plant with a maximum elevation of more than 1,000 m. The values of alpha and beta evaluated by the atmospheric dispersion model varied between 1 and 3 and between 1 and 0.4, respectively, depending on the topographical features. These results and the calculated distributions of y(x) were highly similar to the results of the wind tunnel experiment. Therefore, when the slope of a hill or mountain is similar to the topography considered in this study, it is possible to evaluate topographical effects on exhaust gas dispersion with reasonable accuracy using the atmospheric dispersion model as well as wind tunnel experiments.

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollutants / adverse effects*
  • Air Pollutants / analysis
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Gases
  • Japan
  • Models, Theoretical*
  • Power Plants*
  • Wind


  • Air Pollutants
  • Gases