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2011b Modeling Platform Description


July 22, 2015

The Western Air Quality Study’s 2011b modeling platform and individual components as described below are released for use in regional air quality modeling studies by the Western Air Quality Study cooperating agencies for use in their studies, and for external users approved by the cooperators.

The 2011b platform is suitable for regional studies of warm season ozone. Studies of: 1) cold season ozone formation; 2) particulate matter, visibility, and deposition, in general; and 3) decisions about which global model boundary conditions to apply should be undertaken only with knowledge and understanding of the limitations on model performance discussed in the 2011b platform documentation.

Version B of the 2011 modeling (2011b) platform improves specific model performance issues discovered in the 2011a platform. All 2011b modeling data and results are available through the Western / 3-State Data Warehouse Data Request page.


The 2011b platform consists of data and software for simulating year 2011 air quality over a modeling domain focused on the states of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. The 3SAQS_2011a Modeling Protocol was used to guide the WAQS 2011b modeling.

One important improvement in the 2011b platform is in the consideration of how snow cover impacts ozone formation. Base11b uses WRF meteorology that includes SNODAS snow cover/snow depth data and versions of WRFCAMx and CAMx with specialized dynamical and chemical parameterizations for areas covered by snow. Simulation Base11b used a winter configuration for both WRF and CAMx for the months December 2010 through March 2011. The rest of the simulation year (April-Decebember 2011) used the same WRF data and the same version of CAMx as simulation Base11a.

Oil and gas emissions for the Williston Basin in Montana and the Great Plains Basin in the Dakotas are missing from simulation Base11b. The IWDW generated Base11b_v2 CAMx and CMAQ-ready emissions that include the missing Montana/Dakotas oil and gas sources. While the Base11b_v2 emissions data have been QA'd, they have not been run through an air quality model by the IWDW.

When ordering the Base11b Modeling Platform from the IWDW, the distribution package includes both the standard (v6.10) and winter version of CAMx and WRFCAMx. To reproduce the WAQS Base11b simulation, the winter configuration should only be used for December 2010 though March 31, 2011.

Model performance evaluation products for simulation 2011b will be posted as they become available.

The table below lists the 2011b air quality modeling platform components. These components cover only the input data to the chemistry-transport models. For information on data further up the processing chain, such as the emissions inventories used as inputs to SMOKE, refer to the Wiki pages for the different components.

Modeling Software
 CAMx v6.10ENVIRONChemistry-transport model configured with CB6r2
 WRF v3.5.1NOAARegional climate model configured for simulating meteorology over the Inter-mountain
 SMOKEv3.5.1UNC-IEEmissions processor for preparing emissions inventory and ancillary data for input to chemistry-transport
Emissions Data
 Emissions v2011bWAQS2011 emissions data prepared for CAMx and CMAQ with SMOKEWAQS 2011b Emissions
 Emissions v2025_11bWAQS2025 emissions data prepared for CAMx and CMAQ with SMOKEWAQS 2025 Emissions
Meteorology Data
 Meteorology v2011a3SAQS2011 meteorology data estimated with WRF and prepared for CAMx with WRFCAMxThis WRF simulation includes a wintertime O3 configuration to improve the representation of cold air pools
WAQS 2011b Meteorology
Evaluation report
Initial and Boundary Condition Data
 MOZART ICBCsNOAA/3SAQS2011 Initial/Boundary Conditions from NOAA global GEOS5 MOZART simulations; prepared for CAMx with MZ2CAMx; fine and coarse mode dust and sea salt removed.While the ozone and inorganic PM model performance with the MZ BC's was generally acceptable in simulation Base2011a (see 3SAQS CAMx B11a MPE report), the total PM2.5 concentrations were too high. The 3SAQS modeling team removed the dust and sea salt from the MOZART (MZ) boundary conditions to mitigate CAMx total PM2.5 model performance problems.
Other Input Data
 Ozone ColumnsNASADaily ozone column data processed for CAMx using the utility AHOMAPv4Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer/Ozone Monitoring Instrument
 Chemistry ParametersENVIRONCAMxv6.10 chemistry parameters files for CB6r2 and aerosol module CF 
 LanduseENVIRONNALC data merged with Leaf Area Index data using ArcGIS macros, Perl, and Fortran 
 Total UV columnsENVIRONDaily photolysis rates calculated using TUV v4.8Average values for typical snow cover. These data do not simulate the more reflective white snow that typically occurs during winter high ozone events in southwest Wyoming and the Uinta Basin in Utah.
Model Performance
 Air Quality ObservationsN/AN/AList of aerometric data used to evaluation the 2011 CAMx and CMAQ simulations; 2011 Observational Data
 Meteorology MPE reportN/A3SAQSReport detailing the methods and results of determining the quality of the 3SAQS 2011 WRF modeling; 2011 WRF MPE Report
 Air Quality MPE reportN/AWAQSReport detailing the methods and results of determining the quality of the WAQS 2011 air quality modeling; MPE Report Coming Soon
 Evaluation glossaryN/AWAQSGlossary of Evaluation Products
Output Data
 CAMx Base11bWAQSOutput data from a 2011 36/12/4-km domain CAMx simulation with MOZART boundary conditionsWiki
 CMAQ Base11bWAQSOutput data from a 2011 36/12/4-km domain CMAQ simulation with MOZART boundary conditionsIn progress
 CAMx Base25a_11WAQSOutput data from a 2011-based 2025 36/12/4-km domain CAMx simulation with MOZART boundary conditionsComing Soon
 CMAQ Base25a_11WAQSOutput data from a 2011-based 2025 36/12/4-km domain CMAQ simulation with MOZART boundary conditionsComing Soon