Lagrangian sampling of 3-D air quality model results for regional transport...

Fairlie, T. D., J. Szykman, A. Gilliland, B. Pierce, C. Kittaka, S. Weber, J. Engel-Cox, R. R. Rogers, J. Tikvart, R. Scheffe, and F. Dimmick (2009), Lagrangian sampling of 3-D air quality model results for regional transport contributions to sulfate aerosol concentrations at Baltimore, MD, in summer 2004, Atmos. Environ., 43, 3275-3288, doi:10.1016/j.atmosenv.2009.02.026.

We use ensemble-mean Lagrangian sampling of a 3-D Eulerian air quality model, CMAQ, together with ground-based ambient monitors data from several air monitoring networks and satellite (MODIS) observations to provide source apportionment and regional transport vs. local contributions to sulfate aerosol and PM2.5 concentrations at Baltimore, MD, for summer 2004. The Lagrangian method provides estimates of the chemical and physical evolution of air arriving in the daytime boundary layer at Baltimore. Study results indicate a dominant role for regional transport contributions on those days when sulfate air pollution is highest in Baltimore, with a principal transport pathway from the Ohio River Valley (ORV) through southern Pennsylvania and Maryland, consistent with earlier studies. Thus, reductions in sulfur emissions from the ORV under the EPA’s Clean Air Interstate Rule may be expected to improve particulate air quality in Baltimore during summer. The Lagrangian sampling of CMAQ offers an inexpensive and complimentary approach to traditional methods of source apportionment based on multivariate observational data analysis, and air quality model emissions separation. This study serves as a prototype for the method applied to Baltimore. EPA is establishing a system to allow air quality planners to readily produce and access equivalent results for locations of their choice.

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Applied Sciences Program (ASP)