Review of the Governing Equations, Computational

Algorithms, and Other Components of the Models-3

Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) Modeling


Daewon Byun1 and Kenneth L. Schere2*

Atmospheric Sciences Modeling Division, Air Resources


National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration,

Research Triangle Park, NC 27711

1Present affiliation: University of Houston, 4800 Calhoun,

Houston, TX 77204-5007

2On assignment to the National Exposure Research

Laboratory, U.S. EPA, Research Triangle Park, NC

Accepted by Applied Mechanics Reviews

September 2004


The Community Multi-scale Air Quality (CMAQ) modeling system has been designed to
approach air quality as a whole by including state-of-the-science capabilities for
modeling multiple air quality issues, including tropospheric ozone, fine particles, acid
deposition, and visibility degradation. CMAQ was also designed to have multi-scale
capabilities so that separate models were not needed for urban and regional scale air
quality modeling. By making CMAQ a modeling system that addresses multiple
pollutants and different spatial scales, CMAQ has a "one atmosphere" perspective that
combines the efforts of the scientific community. To implement multi-scale capabilities
in CMAQ, several issues, such as scalable atmospheric dynamics and generalized
coordinates, that depend on the desired model resolution are addressed. A set of
governing equations for compressible non-hydrostatic atmospheres is available to better
resolve atmospheric dynamics at smaller scales. Because CMAQ is designed to handle
scale-dependent meteorological formulations and a large amount of flexibility, CMAQ's
governing equations are expressed in a generalized coordinate system. This approach
ensures consistency between CMAQ and the meteorological modeling system. The
generalized coordinate system determines the necessary grid and coordinate
transformations, and it can accommodate various vertical coordinates and map


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