15.1 How is the Size of the Modeling Domain Chosen?
Historically (until ~1995), ozone attainment demonstrations used urban scale modeling
domains which were typically several hundred kilometers (or less) on a side. With the advent of
nested grid models, most model applications began to use either relatively fine regional grids, or
urban-scale inner grids nested within relatively coarse regional-scale outer grids. Recent PM
modeling has generally used nationwide coarse grid domains with regional scale nested domains.
We expect that most urban scale ozone and PM2.5 attainment demonstrations will utilize a
national or regional nested grid modeling approach.
The principal determinants of model domain size are the nature of the ozone and/or PM2.5
problem and the scale of the emissions which impact the nonattainment area. Isolated
nonattainment areas that are not impacted by regional transport of ozone and/or PM and its
precursors may be able to use a relatively small domain102. Some areas of the western U.S. may
fall into this category. Most nonattainment areas in the eastern U.S. have been shown to be
impacted by transported ozone and/or PM and ozone and/or PM precursors from hundreds of
102Due to relatively long lifetimes of PM2.5 aerosols (compared to ozone), PM modeling
domains may generally need to be larger than ozone domains.
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