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  1. AERMOD is a steady-state plume model that incorporates air dispersion based on planetary-boundary-layer turbulence structure and scaling concepts, including treatment of both surface and elevated sources, and both simple and complex terrain.
  2. It uses other programs (AERMET and AERMAP) as run separately as pre-processors to create the needed meteorology files and receptor location files that can be used as input to AERMOD.

Used For*

  1. For short-range dispersion (within 50 km of the source).
  2. Source types: Multiple point, area and volume sources
  3. Source releases: Surface, near surface and elevated sources
  4. Source locations: Urban or rural locations. Urban effects are scaled by population.
  5. Plume types: Continuous, buoyant plumes
  6. Plume deposition: Dry or wet deposition of particulates and/or gases
  7. Plume dispersion treatment: Gaussian model treatment in horizontal and in vertical for stable atmospheres. Non-Gaussian treatment in vertical for unstable atmospheres
  8. Terrain types: Flat, or flat with simple hills (but not steep terrain mountains & valleys) **
  9. Building effects: Handled by BPIP-PRIME downwash algorithms
  10. Meteorology data height levels: Accepts meteorology data from multiple heights
  11. Meteorological data profiles: Vertical profiles of wind, turbulence and temperature are created

* from Wikipedia.   ** from Stull.

Overview Slides by Davi Monticelli : How to organize work folders ; AERMET Download Met Data ; AERMET Stages 1-3 ; AERMOD Theory & Practice ; Examples .

Types of Inputs

  1. Intro slides by Stull. 
  2. Useful values for the Bowen Ratio , Albedo , Roughness Length
Example of AERMOD use in an Environmental Impact Statement (2017)
  1. Appendix C. Modeling Technical Support Document for the Miami (Arizona) Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) Nonattainment Area.

A python version of AERMOD by Costanzini et al, 2018.  (not EPA approved)


Links for the 2021 course:

   The fortran source code, sample input files, and PC/Windows executables are available on the EPA web page:  


   For Windows users…Good news: 


   For Mac/Linux users, Tim Chui created these AERMOD installation instructions updated in Dec 2021 to install AERMOD + AERMET + AERMAP

We’ll be following this for the AERMOD/AERMET/AERMAP installation class. Feel free to take a look before class, but it’s not necessary…we’ll be going through it all step-by-step in class. 


Links for the 2018 course:

The EPA recommended air quality dispersion models are AERMOD and CALPUFF:

AERMOD Model Dynamics, Physics & Parameterizations:  See AERMOD Model Formulation (2018):
We will discuss this in class, so that AERMOD is not a "black box" to you. 

Here is a link to the installation instructions from the 2018 course at UBC.

 There are 3 major sections below, for installing and testing:

Additional links from the 2016 version of this course:

Model Dynamics, Physics & Parameterizations

  1. AERMOD Model Formulation Document
  2. AERMOD addendum: 
  3. AERMET User Guide & Addendum: 
  4. BPIP-PRIME User Guide & Addendum:

Code sources

  1. AERMOD to calculate pollutant concentrations: 
  2. AIRMET pre-processor for meteorology (run before running AERMOD) 
  3. BPIPPRM pre-processor for building downwash (run before AERMOD) 
  4. AERMAP terrain pre-processor (run before AERMOD) 
  5. MMIF converts WRF output to AERMOD input (run before AERMOD)
  6. AERPLOT converts AERMOD output to kmz file for Google Earth.  (run after running AERMOD)
Utility Functions
  1. R scripts for drawing contour lines and filled contours.  plot3D (Jan 2016) ,  bulit-in functionsmore , more2 ,

Model running resources

  1. Install and compile AERMOD on your own Macs.   (our TA Matt has step-by-step  instructions -v1.2 )
  2. AERMOD Users Manual as pdf  (or )
  3. Install and compile AERMET meteorological pre-processor on your Mac.  (tips from TA Matt, with help from Pedro)

Other Resources

  1. Paper by Stull & Ainslie 2006: A simple model for pollution dispersion in a convective boundary layer.  JAMC.
  2. PowerPoint about Building Downwash - Problems, Solutions & Next Generation , by Ron Peterson, Aug 2015.


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