Boundary-Layer Meteorology

, Volume 147, Issue 1, pp 123–137 | Cite as

Application of a Bivariate Gamma Distribution for a Chemically Reacting Plume in the Atmosphere

  • Enrico Ferrero
  • Luca Mortarini
  • Stefano Alessandrini
  • Carlo Lacagnina


The joint concentration probability density function of two reactive chemical species is modelled using a bivariate Gamma distribution coupled with a three-dimensional fluctuating plume model able to simulate the diffusion and mixing of turbulent plumes. A wind-tunnel experiment (Brown and Bilger, J Fluid Mech 312:373–407, 1996), carried out in homogeneous unbounded turbulence, in which nitrogen oxide is released from a point source in an ozone doped background and the chemical reactions take place in non-equilibrium conditions, is considered as a test case. The model is based on a stochastic Langevin equation reproducing the barycentre position distribution through a proper low-pass filter for the turbulence length scales. While the meandering large-scale motion of the plume is directly simulated, the internal mixing relative to the centroid is reproduced using a bivariate Gamma density function. The effect of turbulence on the chemical reaction (segregation), which in this case has not yet attained equilibrium, is directly evaluated through the covariance of the tracer concentration fields. The computed mean concentrations and the O3–NO concentration covariance are also compared with those obtained by the Alessandrini and Ferrero Lagrangian single particle model (Alessandrini and Ferrero, Physica A 388:1375–1387, 2009) that entails an ad hoc parametrization for the segregation coefficient.


Chemical reactions Fluctuating plume Lagrangian models Segregation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Enrico Ferrero
    • 1
  • Luca Mortarini
    • 2
  • Stefano Alessandrini
    • 3
  • Carlo Lacagnina
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Technological InnovationUniversity of Piemonte OrientaleAlessandriaItaly
  2. 2.Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and ClimateTurinItaly
  3. 3.RSE (Research on Energy Systems)MilanItaly
  4. 4.Koninklijk Nederlands Meteorologisch InstituutDe BiltThe Netherlands

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