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Understanding the Factors that Affect the Properties of Coastal and Polar Fog

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    Rachel Chang Dalhousie University

This project aims to study the formation, dissipation and visibility of fog in coastal and polar environments under non-freezing conditions.

The results from this project will improve understanding of the formation, properties and duration of fog events in coastal and polar regions. The project's novel fog inlet will be deployed during the summer 2016 fog season at a coastal site just outside of Halifax to study aerosol and fog microphysics. These measurements will provide fundamental insight for the fog modelling that is occurring in parallel. 

An outcome of this proposal has been the connection of the group at MEOPAR to AMEC Foster Wheeler, which is currently undertaking a research and development project on behalf of the Hibernia Management and Development Company Ltd. to study fog and sea state conditions on the Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore. Of all offshore oil developments, this region faces some of the most severe conditions, including frequent visibility reduction from fog. Dr. Chang now sits on their Science Advisory Committee and provides expert advice on their upcoming observational campaigns, which will work towards improving visibility predictions. 

As an early career researcher, the network approach has been extremely beneficial since it has connected Dr. Chang to senior scientists in her field and allowed her to participate in larger studies that she would not have otherwise been involved. The network also facilitates knowledge exchange across the country through national meetings not only for PIs but also for the HQP, who have benefited from meeting their peers and developing their professional and academic skills. 


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  • Knut vonSalzen Environment Canada

This project will lead to a better understanding of the factors that control the formation, visibility and evolution of fog events in coastal and polar environments.

Ambient measurements of fog events will test our ability to predict fog droplet formation, linking aerosol chemistry to visibility in fog. These measurements will contribute towards informing a single column model, on which sensitivity analyses will be conducted to determine the importance of input parameters (e.g. aerosol concentrations, heat and water fluxes, winds) on fog events.

The overall findings will be relevant for the transportation industry in coastal and polar locations.