Advanced / Configuration Setup / Time Step Selection Criteria

Set Ratio - TRATIO (0.75) - defines the fraction of a grid cell that a particle or trajectory is permitted to transit in one advection time step. Reducing this value will reduce the time step and increase computational times. Smaller time steps result in less integration error. Integration errors can be estimated by computing a backward trajectory from the forward trajectory end position and computing the ratio of the distance between that endpoint and the original starting point divided by the total forward and backward trajectory distance.

Set Value - DELT (0.0) - is used to set the integration time step to a fixed value in minutes from 1 to 60. It should be evenly divisible into 60. The default value of zero causes the program to compute the time step each hour according to the maximum wind speed, meteorological and concentration grid spacing, and the TRATIO parameter. The fixed time step option should only be used when strong winds in regions not relevant to the dispersion simulation (perhaps the upper troposphere) are causing the model to run with small time steps. Improper specification of the time step could cause aliasing errors in advection and underestimation of air concentrations. An alternate approach is to set the a negative value which will result in that value (abs) being used as the minimum time step.

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