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Estimating the dispersion of shipping emissions from Fremantle port, Western Australia

Formentin, Grace (2017) Estimating the dispersion of shipping emissions from Fremantle port, Western Australia. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

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Fremantle Port is Western Australia's largest general cargo port and has experienced more than 10,660 ship visits since 2011. The burning of marine fuels, however, significantly affects air quality in nearby areas. As there are no air pollution monitoring stations in Fremantle, the impact of emissions from Fremantle port is largely unknown. There is one air pollution modelling study for Fremantle Port (Rolfe, 2016), which was carried out with AERMOD, a steady-state Gaussian plume dispersion model, known to have limitations in its applicability for use in coastal areas. As part of the Rolfe (2016) study, an hourly emissions inventory was created using publicly available data, but the sensitivity of AERMOD to key assumptions and parameters used in developing the inventory were not tested. Therefore, the aims of this thesis were to 1) repeat the study by Rolfe (2016) in order to carry out a sensitivity study on key assumptions and parameters used in the calculation of the emission inventory, and 2) compare the steady-state Gaussian plume model, AERMOD, versus a Lagrangian puff model, CALPUFF, which is more suitable for use in coastal regions. Results showed that, among the several parameters tested, AERMOD was highly sensitive to driving meteorology and ship stack height. Meteorology over water and shorter stack heights resulted in the highest concentrations. Regulatory exceedances of the 1 hour average for SO2 occurred for several simulations. CALPUFF concentrations were higher than AERMOD's for the maximum 1 hour averages and annual averages, but lower than AERMOD's for the maximum 24 hour averages. A caveat of this study is that the simulated concentrations could not be evaluated due to a lack of air pollution monitoring stations near Fremantle port. As AERMOD was highly sensitive to ships stack height, future air pollution modelling studies require actual ship stack height data in order to more accurately simulate concentrations.

Item Type: Thesis (Honours)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Supervisor(s): Kala, Jatin and Rye, Peter
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