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Intermittent Rainfall in Dynamic Multimedia Fate Modeling

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journal contribution
posted on 18.01.2001, 00:00 by Edgar G. Hertwich
It has been shown that steady-state multimedia models (level III fugacity models) lead to a substantial underestimate of air concentrations for chemicals with a low Henry's law constant (H < 0.01 Pa m-3 mol-1) because they assume a steady rain. This can lead to substantial errors, especially when multimedia models are used to estimate the spatial range or inhalation exposure. A dynamic model of pollutant fate is developed for conditions of intermittent rainfall to calculate the time profile of pollutant concentrations in different environmental compartments. The model utilizes a new, mathematically efficient approach to dynamic multimedia fate modeling that is based on the convolution of solutions to the initial conditions problem. For the first time, this approach is applied to intermittent conditions. The investigation indicates that the time-averaged pollutant concentrations under intermittent rainfall can be approximated by the appropriately weighted average of steady-state concentrations under conditions with and without rainfall.