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Steve Edburg. Assistant Research Professor Laboratory for Atmospheric Research Washington State University My Background. Large-eddy simulation (LES) PhD work at WSU Earth system modeling ( EaSM ) Postdoctoral work at UI. SUN. OUTFLOW.

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steve edburg

Steve Edburg

Assistant Research Professor

Laboratory for Atmospheric Research

Washington State University

my background
My Background
  • Large-eddy simulation (LES)
    • PhD work at WSU
  • Earth system modeling (EaSM)
    • Postdoctoral work at UI



Products and reactants from biosphere atmosphere interaction


air + trace gases

Mixing & Chemical




Gas emission from biological processes in forest and soil

les overview
LES Overview
  • Gap in knowledge: The role of turbulence on chemical production or loss within a forest canopy is unknown
  • Objective: Our objective was to determine if reaction rates are modified by intermittent turbulent structures
  • Hypothesis: Our central hypothesis was that turbulent structures alter reactions rates by un-evenly mixing trace gases above the canopy with gases emitted from trees
  • Goal: Use large-eddy simulation to determine the influence of coherent structures on trace gas reaction rates
easm overview
EaSM Overview
  • Knowledge gap: Impact of bark beetle outbreak on carbon cycling is unknown
  • Objective: Quantify the impact of bark beetles on carbon cycling across the western US
  • Aims:
    • Create a regional insect disturbance product;
    • modify a Earth system model;
    • conduct simulations with and without outbreaks

Why is this issue important?

  • Infestations are widespread throughout western US
  • In 2009,
  • 4.3 Mha/10.6 Macres affected by bark beetles
  • 3.6 Mha/8.8 Macres affected by mountain pine beetle

USDA Forest Service, 2004


Physical and biogeochemical characteristics compared with undamaged forest

Year following attack

After 3-5 years

After several decades

Photo by ArjanMeddens

Photo by ArjanMeddens

Photo by C. Schnepf,

Dead tree, needles on

Needles off

Snag fall/understory growth

  • Reduced LAI
  • Reduced Interception
  • Increased Rh
  • Initial recovery
  • Reduced GPP
  • Reduced ET
simulated soil n dynamics play a key role in c fluxes and recovery
Simulated Soil N Dynamics Play a Key Role in C Fluxes and Recovery

25 yr

10 yr

5 yr

Point simulation in Idaho: 95% mortality over 3 years


“Daily Forecasts of Wildland Fire Impacts on Air Quality in the Pacific Northwest: Enhancing the AIRPACT Decision Support System ”

Team: S. Edburg, B. Lamb, J. Vaughan, A. Kochanski, M.A. Jenkins, J. Mandel, N. Larkin, T. Strand, and R. Mell

Pending, submitted in December 2011 to NASA ROSES: Wildland Fires

project overview
Project Overview
  • Our long-term goal is to continue the development of AIRPACT and evaluation tools to support decision making activities
  • The objective of this proposal is to improve the representation of wildland fires within AIRPACT
  • Our specific aim is to implement the WRF-Fire model within AIRPACT and evaluate simulations with satellite products
  • We expect this will improve the plume rise and emission estimates and our evaluation techniques
  • In our opinion, this will improve daily predictions of wildland fire impacts on air quality across the pacific northwest

EOS inputs:




-Fire location

-Fire area

Proposed Additions



-Time rate of emissions

-Plume Injection Heights

-Influence of meteorology on fire spread and intensity

BlueSky Modeling Framework

-Speciated emissions

-Time rate of emissions

-Plume injection height of emissions


-Emissions preprocessor

EOS Evaluation

-OMI NO2 & O3



-Influence of fire on the Air Quality forecast

(e.g. PM2.5, O3, NO2, CO, NMHC)


-Meteorological Input

-72 hour forecast