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Comparison of radm and oscar precipitation chemistry data

Comparison of radm and oscar precipitation chemistry data

Atmospheric Environment 22(6): 1195-1208

ISSN/ISBN: 0004-6981

DOI: 10.1016/0004-6981(88)90350-2

This study examines the relationships between predictions of the Regional Acid Deposition Model (RADM) and observed precipitation chemistry patterns associated with frontal storm systems. Three episodes, monitored as part of the Oxidation and Scavenging Characteristics of April Rains (OSCAR) program and referred to as OSCAR I, OSCAR II and OSCAR IV, were analyzed. The temporal and spatial variations of chemical concentrations in rainfall and deposition of SO42-, NO3-, H+ and NH4+, as well as rainfall amounts observed, at up to 36 stations, were compared with the corresponding RADM grid-average predictions. The comparison database is limited by incomplete chemical data for all of the events and some ambiguity regarding the station operation during OSCAR II. The analysis is further complicated by the fact that grid averages are not necessarily representative of point measurements when the measurements are strongly influenced by local phenomena. Quantitative comparisons for each grid-point pair were made using average fractional differences, which are defined as the difference in the observations and predictions divided by the sum of the observations and predictions. For OSCAR IV the SO42- and NO3- wet deposition generally were within a factor of 1.1-1.6 agreement, with better than a factor of 1.1 agreement for about one-fifth of the pairs compared. For all the events, agreement of a factor of two or better generally was associated with good agreement for the ion concentrations in rainfall and the rainfall amounts, in regions of high deposition and at locations less influenced by potential errors in initialization of the RADM simulation. The best agreement for all of the cases was found for SO42- deposition. The accuracy of the precipitation predictions was found to be the major determinant of the deposition agreement. Another suspected factor is the degree to which the grid average rainfall patterns are representative of the point measurements, but the importance of this factor is difficult to establish.

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Accession: 005011473

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