Several smoke-dispersion models, which currently are available for modeling smoke from biomass burns, were evaluated for ease of use, availability of input data, and output data format. The input and output components of all models are listed, and differences in model physics are discussed. Each model was installed and run on a personal computer with a simple-case example. The steps required to obtain meaningful output for each model are described. Because validation data for wildland biomass burns were unavailable at the time of this assessment, recommending the use of one model over another was not possible. Limiting features of the source-strength component available for each model, however, suggest that dispersion models will not validate properly until models of source strength in biomass burns improve. Without validation data, preliminary recommendations are based on the style of user, user interfaces, output format, and available model components. Suggestions are made for which model that a local project, regional project, regional systems manager, or research scientist might select for research, regulatory, planning, and screening purposes.
Breyfogle, Steve; Ferguson, Sue A. 1996. User assessment of smoke-dispersion models for wildland biomass burning. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-379. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 30 p