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Inverse Dispersion Modeling of Bioaerosol Emissions from Manure Application Sites

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  131594700,  2013 Kansas City, Missouri, July 21 - July 24, 2013. (doi: @2013
Authors:   Michael A Jahne, Shane W Rogers, Kelsey Lopez, Seungo Kim, Stefan J Grimberg, Thomas M Holsen
Keywords:   bioaerosols inverse dispersion modeling AERMOD area-source Gaussian plume manure application.

Abstract. Emission of airborne bacteria from animal feeding operations may present risk to both human and environmental health. Efforts to estimate this risk are hindered by an inability to directly measure emission rates necessary for dispersion modeling. This is particularly true for manure application sites and other large ground-level area sources, such as storage lagoons, where emission mechanisms are poorly defined and field measurements of particle flux are technically challenging. Here, we present an inverse dispersion modeling approach that uses measured bacterial concentrations at a single downwind monitoring site to determine a best-fit emission rate based on site conditions and dispersion simulated by the USEPA’s AERMOD model. Emission results are compared to estimates based on a simplified method involving back-fitting an area-source Gaussian plume model without deposition using numerical superposition of solutions. Estimated emission rates were 3-5 orders of magnitude greater using AERMOD, primarily due to consideration of deposition, highlighting the importance of this process in transport modeling. Results of this work will provide a basis for fate and transport modeling of bioaerosols from their source on manure-applied lands, and will support improved estimates of potential risks that they present.

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