Publication Date

Fall 2016

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Rezaul Mahmood (Director), Gregory Goodrich, and Xingang Fan

Degree Program

Department of Geography and Geology

Degree Type

Master of Science


The purpose of this research is to investigate the dispersion of ammonia (NH3) from three Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) in western Kentucky, as well as to investigate the Weather Research and Forecasting – Chemistry (WRF-Chem) model’s sensitivity response to initial NH3 concentrations under both wet conditions (significant precipitation) and dry conditions (no precipitation). As expected, pollutant concentrations generally were significantly higher near their points of origin and generally declined away from the sources. Contrary to expectations, ammonia tended to rise through the planetary boundary layer (PBL) regardless of atmospheric conditions. Results showed modeled NH3 pollution levels at the surface generally to be higher under wet conditions. A GIS-based analysis method was developed to investigate model sensitivity to initial NH3 concentrations. Using this method, it was found that WRF-Chem exhibits an exponential relation between initial NH3 concentration and the final amount of NH3 produced by the model.


Animal Sciences | Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment | Meteorology