CALPUFF Overview

CALPUFF View is a PRE- and POST-Processor for CALPUFF.

The CALPUFF modeling system has 3 main components:

  1. CALMET (a diagnostic 3-D meteorological model)
  2. CALPUFF (the transport and dispersion model), and
  3. CALPOST (a postprocessing package).

This system is a comprehensive modeling tool that includes meteorological and geophysical data processors, a meteorological model, a puff-based dispersion model, and post-processing modules.

CALPUFF is already in use to model numerous air quality scenarios, including:

  • Toxic pollutant deposition
  • Near-field impacts from
    volume sources
  • Forest fire impacts
  • Visibility assessments
  • Long range transport studies.

CALPUFF Features
  • Complete pre- and post-processor interface for CALPUFF & CALMET
  • Up to 100 times easier to use than plain CALPUFF & CALMET.
  • Transparently integrates all geophysical data (terrain, land use, meteorology).
  • Automatically downloads maps and terrain data from the Web.
  • Outstanding post-processors: such as 3D-wind fields, contour plots, XY graphics, and puff representations.
  • See terrain and results in photo-realistic and animated tools (zoom, rotate, print).
  • Reads output files from CALMET, CALPUFF, and CALGRID.
  • Point, area, volume, and line sources.
  • Non-steady-state emissions and meteorological conditions.
  • Calm wind algorithm.

  • Causality effects.
  • Efficient sampling functions.
  • Dispersion coefficient options.
  • Boundary layer turbulence.
  • Vertical wind shear.
  • Plume rise.
  • Building downwash
  • Subgrid scale complex terrain (CTDM)
  • Dry Deposition
  • Overwater and coastal interaction effects.
  • Chemical transformation options
  • Wet removal
  • Visibility
  • Graphical User Interfaces

  • Buoyant area source algorithm
  • Buoyant line source capability
  • Wind shear effects - Puff splitting
  • ISC input conversion program
  • BPIP interface
  • Split sigmas
  • Output data compression
  • Recent Developments - CALMET
  • MM4/MM5 interface
  • Use of satellite cloud data
  • Similarity theory options
  • Map factors
  • Interpolation of precipitation data
  • Slope flow improvements
  • Terrain angle, orientation and shadowing effects.


A preliminary consideration on advantages of a puff model, such as CALPUFF, over plume models such as ISCST3 should be based on the following modeling requirements:

  • Whether the straight-line steady-state assumptions on which a plume model is based are valid.
  • Transport distances.
  • Potential for temporally and/or spatially varying flow fields due to influences of complex terrain.
  • Non-uniform land use patterns.
  • Coastal effects.
  • Calm winds and stagnation conditions.
  • Variable wind directions.

For cases involving a high degree of spatial variability of the flow within the boundary layer, such as upslope or downslope flows or flows along a winding river valley, the straightline, steady state assumption may not be valid beyond even a few kilometers, and a puff model may be more appropriate.

Puff models have a more realistic presentation of dispersion than plume models.

Each of these programs has a graphical user interface (GUI). In addition to these components, there are several other processors that may be used to prepare:

  • Geophysical (land use and terrain) data in many standard formats,
  • Meteorological data (surface, upper air, precipitation, and buoy data), and
  • Interfaces to other models, like Penn State/NCAR Mesoscale Model (MM5).

Other Advantages Include:
  • Complex Terrain
  • Stagnation, inversion, recirculation, and fumigation conditions.
  • Overwater transport
  • Coastal conditions
  • US EPA recommended model for Long Range Transport.
  • Near-fields impacts
  • Visibility assessments
  • Class I area impact studies
  • Criteria pollutants modeling
  • State Implementation Plan (SIP) applications.
  • Secondary pollutant formation and particulate matter modeling.
  • area and line sources.