An Evaluation of Air Pollutant Exposures due to the 1991 Kuwait Oil Fires

 

Roland R. Draxler,  Jeffery T. McQueen, and Barbara J.B. Stunder

 

Atmospheric Environment, Vol. 28, No. 13, pp. 2197-2210, 1994.

 

Abstract - Gridded daily and seasonal normalized air concentrations due to emissions from the Kuwait oil fires were computed for the period of February through October of 1991.  The computations were performed using a Lagrangian transport and dispersion model and analyzed meteorological fields modified to account for the non-linear radiative effects of the smoke plume on the vertical mixing of pollutants.  Using independently derived emission rates, the model computations of Carbon soot smoke and SO2 air concentrations were compared with the observations from several intensive aircraft measurement campaigns as well as longer-term ground-based measurements.  The measurements and model calculations were in substantial agreement when the results were averaged over several episodes.  The last set of calculations was designed to develop factors to estimate exposures for any pollutant.  For these simulations normalized concentrations were based on a unit emission from 8 separate oil field clusters, calculated independently, while the radiative smoke effects were based upon actual smoke emissions from all the clusters.  The highest normalized concentrations were always located near the coast between Kuwait and Quatar, with the peak values moving farther west and inland with each season; from over the Gulf in the spring to the west over the Saudi Peninsula by autumn due to the development of the Shamal winds and subsequently fewer disturbances passing through the region.

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