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Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering


Despite considerable effort to develop mechanistic dry particle deposition parameterizations for atmospheric transport models, current knowledge has been inadequate to propose quantitative measures of the relative performance of available parameterizations. In this study, we evaluated the performance of five dry particle deposition parameterizations developed by Zhang et al. (2001) ("Z01"), Petroff and Zhang (2010) ("PZ10"), Kouznetsov and Sofiev (2012) ("KS12"), Zhang and He (2014) ("ZH14"), and Zhang and Shao (2014) ("ZS14"), respectively. The evaluation was performed in three dimensions: model ability to reproduce observed deposition velocities, Vd (accuracy); the influence of imprecision in input parameter values on the modeled Vd (uncertainty); and identification of the most influential parameter( s) (sensitivity). The accuracy of the modeled Vd was evaluated using observations obtained from five land use categories (LUCs): grass, coniferous and deciduous forests, natural water, and ice/snow. To ascertain the uncertainty in modeled Vd, and quantify the influence of imprecision in key model input parameters, a Monte Carlo uncertainty analysis was performed. The Sobol' sensitivity analysis was conducted with the objective to determine the parameter ranking from the most to the least influential. Comparing the normalized mean bias factors (indicators of accuracy), we find that the ZH14 parameterization is the most accurate for all LUCs except for coniferous forest, for which it is second most accurate. From Monte Carlo simulations, the estimated mean normalized uncertainties in the modeled Vd obtained for seven particle sizes (ranging from 0.005 to 2.5 μm) for the five LUCs are 17, 12, 13, 16, and 27% for the Z01, PZ10, KS12, ZH14, and ZS14 parameterizations, respectively. From the Sobol' sensitivity results, we suggest that the parameter rankings vary by particle size and LUC for a given parameterization. Overall, for dp D0.001 to 1.0 μm, friction velocity was one of the three most influential parameters in all parameterizations. For giant particles (dp D10 μm), relative humidity was the most influential parameter. Because it is the least complex of the five parameterizations, and it has the greatest accuracy and least uncertainty, we propose that the ZH14 parameterization is currently superior for incorporation into atmospheric transport models.

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Publication Title

Geoscientific Model Development

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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.


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