Using high performance computing and visualization to enhance risk assessment methodology: case study with perchlorate

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Title: Using high performance computing and visualization to enhance risk assessment methodology: case study with perchlorate
Author: Albers, Eric Peter
Abstract: Site -specific risk assessments commonly result in large amounts of information that needs to be processed for a wide , often non -scientific , audience consisting of risk managers , regulators , and other decision makers . For this work we combined a series of models into a large virtual representation of the study system . By using a location -based approach , we were able to arrive at a more accurate determination of risk compared to just a maximum -dose approach . Caddo Lake at Longhom Army Ammunition Plant was used to study the impacts of perchlorate (C104' ) on thyroid hormone secretion in the channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus ) . Two hypothetical contaminant plumes were modeled accounting for groundwater upwelling into the lake and effluent discharge near the surface . Results were compared between environmental systems and the three dosing techniques ; maximum dose , time -lapsed maximum dose , and location -based dose . Perchlorate tissue concentrations for liver , kidney , gill , skin , muscle , GI tract , and thyroid , as well as thyroid hormone levels and secretion rates were simulated . We have shown that a standard maximum dose approach vastly overestimates exposure for individuals and populations . By simulating large numbers of individuals we are able to achieve low probability extreme events , thereby limiting the need for uncertainty factors . Through the use of commercially available graphics software Maya® , we were able to generate 3 - dimensional visualizations of our study site , PBTK model , thyroid hormone secretion , catfish movement , and contaminant plumes , further aiding in data comprehension . This is the first study to generate a 3 -dimensional PBTK with commercially available software , as well as use grid computing and 3 -d visualization for risk assessment .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /2346 /19991
Date: 2004-05

Citation

Using high performance computing and visualization to enhance risk assessment methodology: case study with perchlorate. Doctoral dissertation, Texas Tech University. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /2346 /19991 .

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