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Smoke Plume Trajectory Modeling.

pdf icon Smoke Plume Trajectory Modeling. (714 K)
McGrattan, K. B.

NIST SP 935; NIST SP 995; Volume 2; February 1999.

In Situ Burning of Oil Spills. Proceedings. National Institute of Standards and Technology and Minerals Management Service. November 2-4, 1998, New Orleans, LA, Walton, W. D.; Jason, N. H., Editor(s)(s), 75-86 pp, 1999.

Available from:

Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20401-0003.
Telephone: 202-512-1800.
Order number: SN003-003-03597-1


in situ burning; oil spills; fire research; environmental effects; crude oil; numerical models


A combination of numerical modeling and large scale experimentation has yielded a tremendous amount of information about the structure, trajectory and composition of smoke plumes from large crude oil fires. A numerical model, ALOFT (A Large Outdoor Fire plume Trajectory), has been developed at NIST to predict the downwind concentration of smoke and other combustion products. The model is based on the fundamental conservation equations that govern the introduction of hot gases and particulate matter from a large fire into the atmosphere. The model has been used to estimate distances from fires under of variety of meteorological and topographic conditions where ground level concentrations of smoke and combustion products fall below regulatory threshold levels.