Effective pollutant emission heights for atmospheric transport modelling based on real-world information

Environ Pollut. 2009 Feb;157(2):552-60. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2008.09.027. Epub 2008 Oct 25.


Emission data needed as input for the operation of atmospheric models should not only be spatially and temporally resolved. Another important feature is the effective emission height which significantly influences modelled concentration values. Unfortunately this information, which is especially relevant for large point sources, is usually not available and simple assumptions are often used in atmospheric models. As a contribution to improve knowledge on emission heights this paper provides typical default values for the driving parameters stack height and flue gas temperature, velocity and flow rate for different industrial sources. The results were derived from an analysis of the probably most comprehensive database of real-world stack information existing in Europe based on German industrial data. A bottom-up calculation of effective emission heights applying equations used for Gaussian dispersion models shows significant differences depending on source and air pollutant and compared to approaches currently used for atmospheric transport modelling.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aerosols / analysis
  • Air Movements
  • Air Pollutants / analysis*
  • Databases, Factual
  • Environmental Monitoring / methods*
  • Gases / analysis
  • Industry / statistics & numerical data
  • Models, Theoretical*
  • Temperature


  • Aerosols
  • Air Pollutants
  • Gases