BenMap input file format and Model simulation time period for air quality health impact assessment


I’ve done some CMAQ simulations for assessing impacts from a set of new sources (i.e. I have a two datasets from two emission scenarios - “NewSources” and “Baseline”). For each of these emission scenario, my CMAQ simulation is only for one month in summer (focus on ozone) and one month in winter (focus on PM2.5). I want to assess the health impacts from changes in ozone and PM2.5 concentration. I have several questions:

  1. Does it make sense to use BenMap for such a small set of data?

  2. I have the PM2.5 control (or baseline) file like this:

Column,Row,Metric,Seasonal Metric,Annual Metric,Values 1,1,DailyAverage,,,".,.,.,(335 blanks),.,.,.,3.0,1.9,2.0,2.1,2.6,(30 daily average concentrations)

and an ozone control (or baseline) file:

Column,Row,Metric,Seasonal Metric,Annual Metric,Values
1,1,D8HourMax,,,".,.,.,(335 blanks),.,.,.,11.0,21.9,32.0,37.1,42.6,(30 daily 8 hr max concentrations)

Do these formats look okay? I’m not including seasonal / annual metrics because my simulations doesn’t span a full year/season.

3.Are O3 concentrations in ppb (User manual doesn’t specify so…)?

4.I understand that the metric chosen will specify what HIF can be used in BenMap. Does this mean that with a short dataset, I can only run BenMap for short term health impacts?

I greatly appreciate any responses.


Hi Vik,

I’ll do the best I can to answer your questions, but I encourage other users to chime in and add their experiences with similar modeling scenarios!

  1. You can definitely use BenMAP for your analysis, so long as you keep in mind that typical BenMAP results are reported annually, and we typically report the avoided deaths and avoided health outcomes for a given year. So if you qualify that your output only reflects the health impacts of 1 month, then you should be fine.

  2. Your format looks correction, except if you want to use the build in health impact functions of PM, make sure that you rename the metric to “D24HourMean”.

  3. Yes, ppb of ozone is the default concentration of ozone, as is micrograms per cubic meter for PM.

  4. Your “DailyAverage” PM metric (or “D24HourMean” for the built in health impact functions), will work because BenMAP calculates the health impacts on a daily basis and sum them up for the 30 days of data you provide. I think what you’re referring to is BenMAP will only show you HIF that are available for the metric you’re providing. So in your ozone case, only the “D8HourMax” ozone functions are available, not the “D1HourMax” or the “D24HourMean” ozone functions.

Please let us know if we can provide any more clarity to your questions!