SEMIP


Lead/Contact: S. Larkin, USFS AirFire
Co-Is: T. Strand, Scion; S. Raffuse, S. Drury, N. Wheeler, STI


Welcome to the home page for the Smoke and Emissions Model Intercomparison Project (SEMIP) funded by the Joint Fire Science Program.  We are transitioning information over to this site as Phase 1 of SEMIP ends in order to serve as a more permanent home for SEMIP information.

Selected publications:
+ SEMIP Technical Document
+ SEMIP Final Report
+ Plume rise paper
+ California smoke modeling paper

Acknowledgments: SEMIP would not have been possible without the help of numerous people, including the JFSP Board, the FERA Team and the Pacific Wildland Fire Science Laboratory, the Missoula Fire Lab, the Okaganon-Wenatchee National Forest, Christine Weidenmyer, Edward Hyer, Tesh Rao, Pete Lahm, and many others. Please see the relevant publications for additional acknowledgments.

Table of Contents:

About SEMIP

Figure 1. Modeling chain including modeling steps and output levels identified and examined by SEMIP. See Section 3.1 for more details. Note that the TIME PROFILE modeling step can also be placed after EMISSIONS, in which case the output level becomes the Time Profile of Emissions. Plume chemistry was not treated by SEMIP:Phase 1.

Managers, regulators, and others often need information on the emissions from wildland fire and their expected smoke impacts. In order to create this information combinations of models are utilized. The modeling steps used follow a logical progression from fire activity through emissions and dispersion. In general, several models and/or datasets are available for each modeling step, and the resulting number of combinations that can be created to produce fire emissions or smoke impacts is large. Researchers, managers, and policy makers need information on how different model choices affect the resulting output, and guidance on what choices to make in selecting the models to use. Baseline comparisons are needed between available models that highlight how they intercompare, and, where possible, how there results compare with observations. As new models and methods are developed, standard protocols and comparison metrics are needed that allow these new systems to be understood in light of previous models and methods.

Figure 2: Map showing the locations of the SEMIP:Phase 1 test cases. Locations of individual fires (Tripod Complex, Bugaboo Complex, and Naches Prescribed Fire) are shown with triangles. The area of interest is shaded for the regional cases (California Wildfires, Northwest Prescribed Fires, Southeast Prescribed Fires). The test cases cannot fully represent the usage needs for fire emissions and smoke impact modeling. Additional test cases will be needed as data becomes available.

The Smoke and Emissions Model Intercomparison Project (SEMIP) was designed to facilitate such comparisons.  In Phase 1, SEMIP:

  • examined the needs for fire emissions and smoke impact modeling;
  • determined what data were available to help evaluate such models;
  • identified a number of test cases that can serve as baseline comparisons between existing models and standard comparisons for new models;
  • created a data warehouse and data sharing structure to help facilitate future comparisons; and
  • performed a number of analyses to examine existing models.

SEMIP identified a number of modeling steps, and output levels to examine (see Figure 1).  To do so, SEMIP established a number of test cases to serve as focal points for research (see Figure 2).  More about SEMIP’s structure and test cases can be found in the SEMIP General Technical Report.

How to reference this work:

To reference the overall SEMIP effort please use:

  • Larkin N.K., Stand T.T., Drury S.A., Raffuse S.M., Solomon R.C., O’Neill S.M., Huang S., Wheeler N., 2012.  Phase 1 of the Smoke and Emissions Model Intercomparison Project (SEMIP):  Test Cases, Methods, and Analysis Results.  U.S. Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station General Technical Report (in review).

SEMIP highlights

In addition to laying out the structure needed to organize future research, numerous analyses were identified and performed, spanning six model output levels across nine test cases. Key findings are detailed in the SEMIP General Technical Report and Final Report, but a few of the most important findings are:

  • The lack of fire occurrence information for small fires, especially prescribed burns, is a major source of uncertainty for emissions inventories.
  • Fuels maps, even modern high-resolution maps, differ significantly and systemically; as such they are a major source of uncertainty even in national annual emissions totals.
  • Consumption models are critically dependent on fuel moisture, but these dependencies differ from model to model.
  • Emissions factors in many models have lagged behind scientific literature, and the differences can be large especially for lesser emitted species.
  • Assumed diurnal time profiles for wildfires interact with meteorological conditions in significant and non-linear ways, making modeled smoke impacts sensitive to the time profile assumptions.
  • Plume rise calculations show regional, fire size, and fire type systematic biases when compared with satellite measures of plume height; coupled with the sensitivity of modeled smoke impacts to this parameters, plume height becomes the most significant challenge to correctly predicting air quality impacts.

SEMIP documents

list still being populated

  • Drury S.A., Larkin N.K., Raffuse S.M., Strand T.M., Huang S-M.  (2012)  Uncertainty in Smoke Emissions Modeling: The Tripod Fire Complex. Ecological Modeling (in prep.)
  • Larkin N.K. et al. Emissions inventory comparison paper.  Forest Ecology and Management (in prep.)
  • Larkin N.K., Stand T.T., Drury S.A., Raffuse S.M., Solomon R.C., O’Neill S.M., Huang S., Wheeler N., 2012.  Phase 1 of the Smoke and Emissions Model Intercomparison Project (SEMIP):  Test Cases, Methods, and Analysis Results.  U.S. Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station General Technical Report (in review).
  • Larkin N.K., Strand T.T., Solomon R., Raffuse S., Drury S., Sullivan D., Wheeler, N., Chinkin L., 2010. Developing an improved wildland fire emissions inventory.  19th Annual EPA Emissions Inventory Conference, San Antonio Texas August 2010.  Available at http://www.epa.gov/ttn/chief/conference/ei19/index.html
  • Larkin N.K, Strand T.M., Drury S.A., Raffuse S.M., Solomon, R.C., O’Neill, S.M., Wheeler N., Huang, SM., Rorig, M., Hafner, H.R. 2012.  Final Report to the JFSP for Project #08-1-7-10:  Phase 1 of the Smoke and Emissions Model Intercomparison Project.  Available at http://firescience.gov.
  • Raffuse S., Strenfel S., Ruminski M., Larkin N.K., Hanna, J., McCarthy, M., Evaluating Fire Detection Rates of Active Satellite Detection Methods. (submitted)
  • Raffuse S., Larkin, N.K., Lahm P., Du Y.  (2012) Development of the wildland fire portion of the 2008 National Emissions Inventory. (in prep.)
  • Raffuse, S.M., Larkin, N.K., Lahm P.W., Du, Y.  (2012)  Development of the 2008 wildland fire national emissions inventory. 20th International Emission Inventory Conference, August 13-16, Tampa, Florida. Available on the Internet at http://www.epa.gov/ttn/chief/conference/ei20/session2/sraffuse.pdf.  12pp.
  • Raffuse, S.; Craig, K.; Larkin, N.; Strand, T.; Sullivan, D.; Wheeler, N.; Solomon, R.  (2012) An evaluation of modeled plume injection height with satellite-derived observed plume height. Atmosphere, 3, 103-123.  doi:10.3390/atmos3010103
  • Rorig, M., Solomon, R., Krull, C., Peterson, J., Rutherford, J., and Potter, B. (2012) Analysis of Meteorological Conditions for the Yakima Smoke Intrusion Case Study, 28 September 2009.  Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station Research Paper.  In review.
  • Strand, T. M., Larkin, N., O’Neill, S. M., Peterson, J., and Martinez, N. (2012)  A synthesis and review of wildland fire emission factors for smoke modeling applications in the United States.  J. Geophys Res., in prep.
  • Strand, T. M., Larkin, N., Solomon, R., Rorig, N., Craig, K. J., Raffuse, S., Sullivan, D., Wheeler, N., and Pryden, D.  (2012) Analyses of BlueSky Gateway PM2.5 predictions during the 2007 southern and 2008 northern California fires.  J. Geophys. Res., 117, D17301, doi:10.1029/2012JD017627.

Select SEMIP related presentations and posters

Presentations to scientific audiences:

  • Larkin N.K., Solomon R., Strand T., Raffuse S., Craig K.  December 2009.  Uncertainties in fuel loading and fire consumption calculations and the Smoke and Emissions Model Intercomparison Project.  AFE 4th Intl. Fire Ecology & Management Congress, 30 Nov – 4 Dec 2009, Savannah, GA.
  • Larkin N.K., Strand T. (Presenter), Solomon R., Sullivan D., Raffuse S., Craig K., Pryden D., Wheeler N., Chinkin L.  December 2009.  BlueSky modeling framework:  status, products, and future directions.  AFE 4th Intl. Fire Ecology & Management Congress,  30 Nov – 4 Dec 2009, Savannah, GA
  • Strand T., Larkin N.K., Solomon R., Sullivan D., Raffuse S.M., Pryden D., Craig K., Wheeler N., Chinkin L.  December 2009.  BlueSky modeling framework:  current application, user tools, and future additions.  AGU Fall Meeting 14-18 December 2009, San Francisco, CA
  • Raffuse S.M., Pryden D., Larkin N.K., Strand T., Solomon R., Sullivan D.  December 2009.  Merging satellite-detected wildfire information with ground reports for improved fire and smoke modeling in emergency response.  AGU Fall Meeting 14-18 December 2009, San Francisco, CA.
  • Larkin N.K., Solomon R., Strand T., Raffuse S., Craig K.  December 2009.  Uncertainties in fuel loading and fire consumption calculations and the Smoke and Emissions Model Intercomparison Project.  AGU Fall Meeting 14-18 December 2009, San Francisco, CA.
  • Larkin N.K., Raffuse S., Strand T., Pryden D., Solomon R., Wheeler N., Sullivan D., Chinkin L., March 2010.  The BlueSky modeling framework:  recent developments and tools.  National Air Quality Conferences, 15-18 March 2010, Raleigh, NC.
  • Larkin N.K., Strand T., Solomon R., Drury S., Raffuse S., Wheeler N., Chinkin L., Soja A., June 2010.  Uncertainties in wildland fire emissions (and trying to fix them).  Air Waste & Management Associate Annual Meeting (ACE-2010), Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
  • Strand T.M., Larkin N.K, Sullivan D., Craig K., Solomon R., Raffuse S., Pryden D., Wheeler N., October 2010.  BlueSky Modeling Framework: status, products, and future developments, IAWF Third Fire Behavior and Fuels Management conference, Spokane Washington.
  • Larkin N.K., Strand T.M., Martinez N., Rorig M., Krull C., Solomon R., Drury S., Raffuse S., Wheeler N., Craig K., Chinkin L., October 2010. Uncertainties in fuel loading, fire consumption, plume rise, and smoke concentration calculations.  IAWF Third Fire Behavior and Fuels Management conference, Spokane Washington.
  • Martinez N., Drury S., Raffuse S., Strand T.M., Solomon R., Larkin N.K., October 2010.  Uncertainties in modeling emissions and smoke from wildland fire.  . IAWF Third Fire and Fuels conference, Spokane Washington
  • Larkin N.K., Raffuse S., Strand T.M., Healy A., Pryden D., Wheeler N., October 2010. A community data warehouse for fire and smoke information.  IAWF Third Fire and Fuels conference, Spokane Washington
  • Drury S., Larkin N.K., Huang S-M., Strand T.M., Strenfel S., O’Brien T., Raffuse S.M., October 2010.  Fuel loading, fuel consumption, and smoke emissions simulations under wildfire conditions:  the 2006 Tripod wildifre case study.  IAWF Third Fire and Fuels conference, Spokane Washington
  • Larkin N.K., Raffuse S., Strand T., Drury S., Solomon R., Wheeler N., December 2010.  Developing an improved wildland fire emissions inventory.  AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, California.
  • Larkin N.K., May 2011.  Some thoughts on smoke.  National Cohesive Strategy Science Team Meeting, Webinar.
  • Larkin N.K., Strand T., Solomon R., Raffuse S., Drury S., Healy A., Wheeler N., October 2011.  Lessons from SEMIP.  JFSP Models and Measurements Workshop, Boise, Idaho.
  • Larkin N.K., Strand T., Solomon R., Drury S., Raffuse S., Huang S., Strenfel S., October 2011. Uncertainties in modeling smoke impacts from wildland fire. Ninth Symposium on Fire and Forest Meteorology, Palm Springs, California, 18-20 October 2011
  • Solomon R., Strand T., Larkin N.K., Raffuse S., Craig K., Sullivan D., Pryden D., Drury S., Stilley J., DeWinter J., Leung F.Y., October 2011. BlueSky smoke modeling framework development. Ninth Symposium on Fire and Forest Meteorology, Palm Springs, California, 18-20 October 2011
  • Raffuse, S., Strenfel S., Larkin N.K., October 2011. Understanding how well satellites detect fires.  Ninth Symposium on Fire and Forest Meteorology            Palm Springs, California, 8-20 October 2011
  • Strand, T., Drury S., Larkin N.K.,. Raffuse S.M., December 2011.  Analysis and cross-comparison of emissions calculations from specific wildland fires.  AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, California.
  • Strand, T.M., December 2011. Micrometeorology, turbulence, and plume dynamics. Presentation at the Scion, New Zealand Forest Research Institute All-Staff and Webinar, Rotorua, New Zealand.
  • Weidinmyer, C., Emmons L.K., Raffuse S.M., Larkin N.K., December 2011.  Emissions from open burning:  evaluation challenges at different scales.  AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, California.
  • Raffuse, S.M., Larkin N.K., Pryden D.A., Dedecko T.M., December 2011.  New methods for modeling and monitoring wildfires using multiple data sources:  SmartFire v2.  AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco.
  • Larkin, N.K., Strand T.T., Raffuse S.M., Drury S., December 2011.  Quantifying uncertainties in U.S. wildland fire emissions across space and time scales.  AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco.

presentations to managers and other user-groups

  • Larkin N.K., October 27, 2009.  Smoke and Emissions Model Intercomparison Project (SEMIP).  webinar,  host:  NWCG Smoke Committee
  • Larkin N.K., Strand T., Brown T., Raffuse S., Healy A., Pryden D., May 2010.  Wildland Fire Decision Support System (WFDSS) – air quality tools update.  Webinar, host:  WFDSS RD&A and Users Meeting.
  • Larkin N.K., Brown T., Raffuse S., Strand T., Zimmerman T., Lahm P., May 2010.  Wildland fire and air quality:  science and tools.  U.S. Forest Service National Fuels Meeting, Sacramento, California.
  • Larkin N.K., Strand T., Solomon R., Raffuse S., Drury S., Wheeler N., August 2010.  Smoke and emissions model intercomparison project (SEMIP):  infrastructure and suggestions.  Webinar, host:  Joint Fire Science Program Board Meeting, Fairbanks, Alaska.
  • Larkin N.K., August 2010.  Wildland fire air quality tools.  Webinar, host: California Air Resources Planning Alliance (CARPA) Data Committee.
  • Potter B., Krull C., Larkin N.K., Rorig M., Strand T., Solomon R., September 2010.  AirFire research and tools.  US Forest Service/NOAA Joint Meeting, Washington, D.C.
  • Rorig M., Krull C., Larkin N.K., Potter B., Strand T., Solomon R., September 2010.  AirFire research and tools.  South Korean delegation visit, USFS PWFSL, Seattle, Washington.
  • Larkin N.K., Strand T., Solomon R., Raffuse S., Drury S., Sullivan D., Wheeler N., Chinkin L., September 2010.  Developing an improved wildland fire emissions inventory.  19th Annual EPA Emissions Inventory Conference, San Antonio, Texas.
  • Larkin N.K., May 2011.  SEMIP and the RFA 2011-2 Proposals.  JFSP Board Meeting.  Webinar.
  • Larkin N.K., Strand T., Martinez N., Rorig M., Krull C., Potter B., Drury S., Raffuse S., Wheeler N., Craig K., Chinkin L., March 2011.  Emissions inventories and smoke:  uncertainties and working towards a better EI.  NWCG Smoke Committee Meeting, Seattle, Washington.
  • Larkin N.K., June 2011.  The 2008 NEI, BlueSky, SmartFire, WFEIS, FINN, and Flambe.  Minnesota Interagency Fuels Working Group.  Webinar.
  • Larkin N.K.  July 2011.  AirFire science applications:  beyond BlueSky.  USFS PNW Station Management Team.  Webinar.
  • Larkin N.K., September 2011.  Smoke modeling: BlueSky and beyond.  USFS Conversations with the Chief series.  Webinar.
  • Strand T.M. and Mickler R., October 2011.  Sub-Canopy smoke dispersion: Measurements of fire-behavior, fuels, consumption, emissions, plume rise and dispersion near and in a prescribed fire-source.  The Nature Conservancy, North Carolina, Workshop for fire, land, and air quality managers in the south-eastern region, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
  • Larkin N.K., Raffuse S., January 2012.  Creating wildland fire emissions inventories using SmartFire and BlueSky.  LADCO webinar .
  • Larkin N.K., Raffuse S., March 2012.  National Emissions Inventory version 2 fire emissions.  EPA OAP webinar.
  • Larkin N.K., Raffuse S., Rao V., March 2012. Using SmartFire and BlueSky to calculate wildland fire emissions and the NEI v2 effort.  NWCG Smoke Committee, webinar.