Dispersion modeling of particulate matter from the in-situ burning of spilled oil in the northwest Arctic area of Canada

Zheng Wang, Chunjiang An, Kenneth Lee, Edward Owens, Michel Boufadel, Qi Feng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


In-situ burning can be used to prevent oil spreading in oil spill response. In this study, a steady-state Gaussian plume model was applied to analyze the concentration distribution of fine particulate matter produced by in-situ burning, as well as to assess the health risks associated with different combustion methods and ambient conditions, in reference to three simulation scenarios. The spatial and temporal distribution of emission sources can affect the dispersion pattern. The distribution into an array of different burning locations ensures better dispersion of emissions, thereby preventing the formation of high concentration regions. The wind and atmosphere stability play an important role in pollution dispersion. Lower wind and temperature inversion can seriously hinder the diffusion of pollutants. The health risk to technical staff adjacent to the burning areas is a serious concern, and when the community is more than 20 km away from the burning zone, there is few risks. Through simulation, the influences of combustion methods and natural factors on the concentration and diffusion of pollutants are evaluated. The results can help provide an optimized burning strategy for oil spill response in the Arctic area.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number113913
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


  • Arctic
  • Dispersion modeling
  • In-situ burning
  • Oil spill
  • Particulate matter


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