Tracer Data
Meteorological Data
Model Evaluation





Listed here are data sets that I do not have access to, but likely would be of value to the research community. Where possible, I have provided links to these data sets.

Dispersion for near-surface releases:

1.  Mountain Iron (1967, zinc sulfide),  (Hinds and Nickola, 1967; Hinds, 1968)  Several 5-minute, but mostly 30-minute samples of zinc sulfide tracer along arcs ranging from 260 m to 11.4 km from a 2 meter point source release.  The terrain was rugged, with rolling terrain, in southern California.

2.  MADONA (1992, sulfur-hexafluoride and propylene gas), (Cionco et al., 1999)
The multination, high-resolution field study of Meteorology And Diffusion Over Non-Uniform Areas (MADONA) was conducted at Porton Down, Salisbury, Wiltshire, United Kingdom.  MADONA was designed and conducted for high-resolution meteorological data collection and diffusion experiments using smoke, sulphurhexaflouride, SF6, and propylene gas during unstable, neutral, and stable atmospheric conditions in an effort to obtain terrain-influenced meteorological fields, dispersion, and concentration fluctuation measurements using specialized sensors and tracer generators. Thirty-one days of meteorological data were collected during the period 7 September-7 October and 27 diffusion experiments were conducted from 14 to 23 September 1992. Puffs and plumes of smoke and SF6 were released simultaneously for most of the experiments to gauge the resultant diffusion and concentration behavior. This well-documented database is suitable for the evaluation and validation of short-range near-field wind and diffusion models codes. The database was originally placed on CD-ROM in a structured way by CBDE, Porton Down. This database used to be available from the Riso National Laboratory, Denmark , http://www/, but this link no longer works.

Dispersion for elevated releases:

Rural (Complex Terrain)

The following three data sets used to be available from an ftp site maintained by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Meteorology Division. I am not sure how to gain access to these data now.

1. Cinder Cone Butte, ID (1980, sulfur-hexafluoride), (Snyder et al., 1985)  During the autumn of 1980, 18 tracer experiments were conducted, each lasting 8 hours at night or early morning, at the 100 meter high hill at Cinder Cone Butte near Boise, Idaho.  The main tracer was SF6 with Freon 1381 used as well in 10 experiments.  Sampling was conducted at a network of approximately 100 samplers located on the slopes of the hill.

2.  Hogback Ridge, NM (1982, sulfur-nexafluoride), (Snyder et al., 1985)  In October 1982, 11 tracer experiments were conducted, each lasting 8 hours at night or early morning, along an approximately 1.5 km section of the 90 meter high Hogback Ridge near Farmington, New Mexico.  Sampling of SF6 and Freon 1381 was conducted by a network of 110 samplers located on the slopes of the ridge.

3. Tracy Power Plant, NV (1984, sulfur-hexafluoride), (Snyder et al., 1985)  A feasibility study in November 1983 and a full scale study in August 1984 was conducted at the Tracy Power Plant located about 27 km east of Reno, Nevada.  The power plant was maintained in a warm stand-by condition as SF6 was injected in the base of the 91.4 m smokestack.  The site is located in the Truckee River Valley, with moutons surrounding the power plant on all sides.  Peaks as high as 460 meters above the stack base afforded opportunities for plume impaction in many directions.  The feasibility study consisted of 10 experiments from November 7 to 19, 1983, for a total of 90 hours of sampling at a network of 53 samplers.  The full-scale study consisted of 14 experiments from August 8 to 27, 1984 for a total of 128 hours of data collection at a network of 110 samplers, mainly during late evening or early morning hours.

Urban Transport

1.  St. Louis, (1968, SO2), (McElroy and Pooler, 1968)  From the spring of 1963 to the spring of 1965, 26 daytime and 16 evening experiments were conducted, involving the 1-hour release of zinc sulfide from two site locations (Forest Park and a rooftop release from the Knights of Columbus Building.).  Sampling (total dose) was conducted typically along three arcs that ranged from 1 to 7 km, with a few cases having an 15 km arc).  It was estimated that the lateral dispersion was initially 50 to 60 meters (length of a typical city block, 160 m, divided by 4.3, with larger values for when the wind is diagonally across the block) and the vertical dispersion was initially 20 to 30 meters.  They conclude that dispersion from low-level sources in urban areas for downwind distances of less than 800 meters is conjectural.

2.  Lillestrom (1987, sulfur-hexafluoride), (Sivertsen and Bohler, 1985) The tracer experiments took place in the town of Lillestrom (near Oslo), Norway in 1987 in a flat residential area with 6-10 m high buildings and trees.  The surface roughness was about 0.5 m.  SF6 was released from a mast 36 m above the ground.  Near-surface samples were collected along three arcs for two sequential 15 - minute periods.  For all runs, the cross wind profiles of tracer concentrations were well determined, thus making a relatively accurate estimate of cross wind integrated concentration possible. The temperature during the tracer experiments was low (approximately –20o C) and the ground was snow covered. Geographical co-ordinates for the position of release are: Latitude 59.889 N Longitude 11.051 E  the height of terrain is 110 m above mean sea level.

3.  URBAN/VTMX (2000, sulfur-hexafluoride), The URBAN2000 experiment was conducted during the period October 2 – 25, 2000 and consisted of six releases of SF6 in downtown Salt Lake City, UT.  During this same period of time, the Vertical Transport and Mixing (VTMX) meteorological field measurement program took take place in the Salt Lake Valley.  VTMX was designed to study the processes contributing to vertical transport and mixing of momentum, heat, and water vapor in the lowest few thousand feet of the atmosphere. The Salt Lake Valley was chosen as a study site as surrounding mountains often contribute to the development of cold pools, i.e., conditions in which colder air is trapped in the valley while warmer air is found at higher elevations. Vertical transport and mixing processes in these conditions can be particularly difficult to describe. Flows over the mountains and out of the canyons and winds generated by the temperature contrasts between the Great Salt Lake and the valley floor may generate wind shear and atmospheric waves; these, in turn, can modify the vertical structure of the atmosphere's properties. The terrain also imposes some limitations on the possible wind patterns in the area, an effect that is useful in identifying suitable sites for possible instrument deployment.

4.  MUST (2001, sulfur-hexafluoride) (Biltoft, 2001, Biltoft et al., 2002).  The Mock Urban Settings Test took place at the Dugway Proving Grounds in Utah from September 10-27, 2001.  A mock building array was created by placing shipping containers in a 10 x 12 regular aligned grid.  Each shipping container was 12.2 m wide, 2.42 m deep, and 2.54 m high. They were aligned with the long face perpendicular to the mean climatological nightly wind (150°) coming out of the south-southeast. With 12 m spacing in the longitudinal and 6 m in the lateral, the plan area of the array was 0.13 and the height-to-width ratio was 0.2, the latter indicative of the isolated roughness flow regime.  Tracer gas (propylene) puffs or plumes were released from positions within or immediately upwind of the MUST array. Tracer dispersion through the array was measured using fast-response photoionization detectors (PIDs). A 32-m tower and several 6-m towers within the MUST array provided vertical sampling, while four sampling lines of PIDs provided lateral dispersion information. Sixty eight useable trial events, consisting of 63 continuous releases and 5 sets of puff releases, were completed during MUST, providing 16 hours of continuous release data and 4.75 hours of puff data for analysis.

5.  BUBBLE (2002, sulfur-hexafluoride), (Gryning et al., 2003)  Between June 15 and July 12, 2002 a series of four experiments were conducted in Bazel, Switzerland.  SF6 was released approximately 1.5 meters above the roof tops with roof-top sampling at  12 locations distributed close to the release and extending out to about 1.6 km.  The mean building height in the area is 15.1 meters with a mean plan area density of 48%.  Each experiment provided 6 30-minute samples, starting at approximately 14:00 LST.  The aim was to perform the tracer experiments under Clara Wind conditions, a thermally driven wind system that in the afternoon on cloud free summer days develops over Basel and is characterized by a persistent north-westerly direction of the wind.

6.  JU03 (2003, sulfur-hexafluoride), The Joint Urban 2003 (JU03) Field Experiment was conducted in Oklahoma City (OKC), OK, during July 2003. The focus of the JU03 experiment was to characterize the flow of a tracer gas (SF6) in an urban environment. Over one hundred government, university, and private sector participants supported high resolution atmospheric measurements, and other instrumentation during the experiment. The field program consisted of six daytime and four nighttime intensive observation periods (IOP)s that lasted approximately eight hours each.

Long Range Transport

All the following data sets are available from the following web site.  (Click the ‘Documentation’ link.)

1. ACURATE-82/84 (Heffter et al., 1984)
The Atlantic Coast Unique Regional Atmospheric Tracer Experiment from 1982 and 1983, ACURATE-82/83, experiment consisted of measuring the Kr-85 air concentrations from emissions of the Savannah River Plant, SC. Twelve and 24 hour average air concentrations were collected for 19 months (March 1982 - September 1983) at 5 locations along the United States east coast from 300 to 1000 km from the plant (Fayetteville, NC to Murray Hill, NJ).  Hourly Kr-85 emissions (5 March 1982 - 30 September 1983) are given in Curies and air concentration measurements (9 March 1982 - 30 September 1983) are in pCi / m3. Ambient background concentration was subtracted from measured concentrations according to the station: FAY - 19.0, TAR - 19.0, NOR - 19.1, SAL - 19.2, MUR - 19.3. The ambient background concentration was determined to be at the point at which there was a large change in slope of the cumulative concentration distribution at each station. Background varies by latitude, increasing to the north due to the prevalence of nuclear fuel reprocessing in the northern latitudes.

2.  ANATEX-87  (Draxler and Heffter, Eds, 1989)
The Across North America Tracer Experiment from 1987, ANATEX, consisted of 66 PerFluorocarbon Tracer (PFT) releases (33 each from two different locations - January 5th to March 26th, 1987) every two and one half days. Air samples were collected for 3 months (January 5th to March 29th, 1987) over 24 h periods at 75 sites covering most of the eastern US and southeastern Canada. PTCH (perflurotrimethylcyclohexane) was released from Glasgow, Montana (GGW), and PDCH (perflurodimethylcyclohexane) and PMCH (perfluro-monomethylcyclohexane) from St. Cloud, Minnesota (STC). Release units are given in grams and air concentrations in pg / m3. Note that the PMCH releases from STC are coincident with the PDCH releases and hence do no provide any “meteorologically independent” data. The measurement data as reported already had ambient background removed. However, concentrations were reported in volume units (dfl/l) and were converted to mass units according to the molecular weight of the tracer by the following conversion factors: PMCH 1.56x10-12, PDCH 1.79x10-12, PTCH 2.00 x10-12.

3.  CAPTEX-83  (Ferber et al., 1986) 
The Cross Appalachian Tracer Experiment during September and October of 1983, CAPTEX-83, consisted of six 3 h PFT releases (September 18th to October 29th, 1983), four from Dayton, Ohio and two from Sudbury, Ontario, Canada with samples collected at 84 sites, 300 to 800 km from the source, at 3 h and 6 h averages for about a 48 hour duration after each release (September 18th to October 30th, 1983). One additional short (30 min) tracer release from Dayton was not evident in the sampling data.  Concentrations were already reported as above background but were converted from volume (fl/l) to mass units (pg / m3) by the relation 15.6x10-12. 

4.  INEL74 (Ferber et al., 1977, Draxler, 1982)  The Idaho National Engineering Laboratory releases in 1974, INEL74, consisted of a little over two months of Kr-85 releases (February 27th to May 5th, 1974) from Idaho and continuous 12 h sampling (February 27th to May 4th, 1974) at 11 locations in a line about 1500 km downwind (Oklahoma City, OK to Minneapolis, MN). Emissions are given in Curies and air concentrations in pCi / m3. The same ambient background concentration (13.7 pCi / m3) was subtracted from all stations

5.  OKC80 (Ferber et al., 1981)  The OKC80 experiment consisted of single release of two different PFT tracers (July 8th, 1980) over a 3 hour duration with samples of 3 hour duration collected at 10 sites 100 km and 35 sites 600 km downwind from the Oklahoma City release point from July 8th to July 11th, 1980. Emissions are given in grams and air concentrations in pico-grams / m3. Concentrations were reported in volume units (dfl/l) and were converted to mass units according to the molecular weight of the tracer by the following conversion factors: PMCH 1.56x10-12 and PDCH 1.79x10-12. Background concentrations of 4.0 fl/l and 5.5 fl/l were subtracted for PMCH and PDCH, respectively.


Biltoft, C.A., (2001): Customer report for Mock Urban Setting Test. Report No. WDTC-FR-01-121, U.S. Army Dugway Proving Ground, Dugway, UT.

Biltoft, C.A., Yee, E. and Jones, C.D., (2002): Overview of the Mock Urban Setting Test (MUST). Proceedings of the Fourth Symposium on the Urban Environment. May 20-24, Norfolk, VA.

Cionco, RM; aufm Kampe, W; Biltoft, C; Byers, JH; Collins, CG; Higgs, TJ; Hin, ART; Johansson, P-E; Jones, CD; Joe rgensen, HE; Kimber, JF; Mikkelsen, T; Nyren, K; Ride, DJ; Robson, R; Santabarbara, JM; Streicher, J; Thykier-Nielsen, S; van Raden, H; Weber, H  (1999):  An overview of MADONA: a multinational field study of high-resolution meteorology and diffusion over complex terrain, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Boston, MA. Vol. 80, no. 1, pp. 5-19.

Draxler, R.R., 1982, Measuring and modeling the transport and dispersion of Kr-85 1500 km from a point source, Atm. Environ., 16: 2763-2776.

Draxler, R.R. and J.L. Heffter (Eds), 1989, Across North America Tracer Experiment (ANATEX) Volume I: Description, Ground-Level Sampling at Primary Sites, and Meteorology, January, NOAA Tech Memo ERL ARL-167.

Ferber, G.J., Heffter, J.L., Draxler, R.R., Lagomarsino, R.J., Thomas, F.L., Dietz, R.N., Benkovitz, C.M., (1986): Cross-Appalachian Tracer Experiment (CAPTEX ‘83) Final Report.  NOAA Technical Memorandum ERL ARL-142, Air Resources Laboratory, Silver Spring, Md., 60 pages.

Ferber, G.J., K. Telegadas, J.L. Heffter, C.R. Dickson, R.N. Dietz, P.W. Krey, 1981, Demonstation of a Long-Range Tracer System using Perfluorcarbons, Final Report, January, Tech. Report EPA-600.

Ferber, G.J., K. Telegadas, J.L. Heffter, M.E. Smith, 1977, Air Concentrations of Krypton-85 in the Midwest United States during January-May 1974, Atm. Environ. 11, 379-385.

Gryning, S-E., E. Batchvarova, M. W. Rotach, A. Christen and R. Vogt,  (2003):  Roof-level SF6 tracer experiments in the city of Basel.  Draft Summary 72 pages.Bubble Project Page

Halvorson, S, Y. Liu, R-S Sheu, J. Basara, J. Bowers, T. Warner and S. Swerdlin, (2004):  Mesoscale and urban-scale modeling support for the Oklahoma City Joint-Urban 2003 field program.  Symposium on Planning, Nowcasting, and Forecasting in the Urban Zone (PNFUZ), The 84th AMS Annual Meeting, January 12-15, 2004 Seattle, WA. 6 pages.

Heffter, J.L, J.F. Schubert, and G.A .Meade, 1984, Atlantic Coast Unique Regional Atmospheric
Tracer Experiment, October, NOAA Tech Memo. ERL ARL-130.

Hinds, W.T., (1968): Diffusion over Coastal Mountains of Southern California.  Pacific Northwest Laboratories Annual Report for 1967, Vol. II: Physical Sciences, Part 3.  Atmospheric Sciences, D.W. Pearce (Editor), Pacific Northwest Laboratories Report BNWL-715-3, pages 19-53 [NTIS BNWL 7-5-3].

Hinds, W.T., and Nickola, P.W., (1967): The Mountain Iron Diffusion Program: Phase I, South Vandenberg, Vol. I, Pacific Northwest Laboratories Report BNWL-572, 220 pages [NTIS AD 721 858].

McElroy, J.L. and Pooler, F., (1968): St. Louis Dispersion Study Volume I – Instrumentation, Procedures and Data Tablulations; Volume II-Analysis.  National Air Pollution Control Administration.  Publication Number AP-53.  U.S. Department of Health Education and Welfare, Arlington, VA, Volume I 352 pages, and Volume II 51 pages.

Murray, D.R., and Bowne, N.E.,  (1988)  Urban Power Plant Plume Studies,  EPRI Report No. EA-5468, Research Project 2736-1, Electric Power Research Institute, Palo Alto, CA.

Sivertsen, B., and Bohler, T., (1985): Verification of Dispersion Estimates Using Tracer Data.  NILU Report TR 19/85, The Norwegian Institute for Air Research, Kjeller, Norway.

Snyder, W.H., Thompson, R.S., Eskridge, R.E., Lawson, R.R., Castro, I.P., Lee, J.T., Hunt, J.C.R, Ogawa, Y., (1985): The structure of strongly stratified flow over hills: dividing-streamline concept. Journal of Fluid Mech., (152):249-288.