3.1.3 Use of AERSURFACE for determining surface characteristics (01/09/08)

EPA has developed a tool called AERSURFACE (EPA, 2008) that can be used as an aid in

determining realistic and reproducible surface characteristic values, including albedo, Bowen

ratio, and surface roughness length, for input to AERMET, the meteorological processor for

AERMOD. The current version of AERSURFACE supports the use of land cover data from the

USGS National Land Cover Data 1992 archives (NLCD92). The NLCD92 archive provides

land cover data at a spatial resolution of 30 meters based on a 21-category classification scheme

applied consistently over the continental U.S. AERSURFACE incorporates look-up tables of

representative surface characteristic values by land cover category and seasonal category.

Further details regarding application of the AERSURFACE tool are provided in the

AERSURFACE User’s Guide (EPA, 2008).

The AERSURFACE tool incorporates the recommended methods for determining surface

characteristics from digitized land cover data described in Section 3.1.2. While the

AERSURFACE tool is not currently considered to be part of the AERMOD regulatory modeling

system, i.e. the use of AERSURFACE is not required for regulatory applications of AERMOD,

the recommended methodology described in Section 3.1.2 should be followed unless case-bycase

justification can be provided for an alternative method.


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