Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres

The Regional Particulate Matter Model: 1. Model description and preliminary results


  • Francis S. Binkowski,

  • Uma Shankar


The Regional Acid Deposition Model has been modified to create the Regional Particulate Model, a three-dimensional Eulerian model that simulates the chemistry, transport, and dynamics of sulfuric acid aerosol resulting from primary emissions and the gas phase oxidation of sulfur dioxide. The new model uses a bimodal lognormal distribution to represent particles in the submicrometer size range. In addition to including the horizontal and vertical advection and vertical diffusion of the aerosol number concentration and sulfate mass concentration fields, the model now explicitly treats the response of the distribution parameters to particle coagulation within and between the modes, condensation of sulfate vapor onto existing particles, formation of new particles, evaporation and condensation of ambient water vapor in the presence of ammonia, and particle-size-dependent dry deposition. The model has been used to study how the degree of sulfuric acid neutralization by ambient ammonia affects the total aerosol concentrations and particle size distributions over eastern North America. Preliminary results for three representative locations, rural, near-source, and nominal downwind of source, show that the effect is greatest for the rural and smallest for the near-source regions, which corresponds with the largest and smallest values, respectively, of ammonium-to-sulfate molar ratios. The results indicate that the model could provide a tool for investigating the effects of various pollution control strategies, as well as new or alternative formulations of important aerosol processes.