Preprint Article Version 3 This version is not peer-reviewed

Analysis of a Regional Scale Chemical-Transport Model to Investigate the Potential Capability of Satellites for Identifying a Widespread Air Pollution Event

Version 1 : Received: 5 August 2017 / Approved: 7 August 2017 / Online: 7 August 2017 (10:41:41 CEST)
Version 2 : Received: 8 August 2017 / Approved: 9 August 2017 / Online: 9 August 2017 (12:04:52 CEST)
Version 3 : Received: 3 October 2017 / Approved: 4 October 2017 / Online: 4 October 2017 (11:23:38 CEST)

How to cite: Welsh, J.; Fishman, J. Analysis of a Regional Scale Chemical-Transport Model to Investigate the Potential Capability of Satellites for Identifying a Widespread Air Pollution Event. Preprints 2017, 2017080020 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201708.0020.v3). Welsh, J.; Fishman, J. Analysis of a Regional Scale Chemical-Transport Model to Investigate the Potential Capability of Satellites for Identifying a Widespread Air Pollution Event. Preprints 2017, 2017080020 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201708.0020.v3).

Abstract

We use a regional scale photochemical transport model to investigate the surface concentrations and column integrated amounts of ozone (O3) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) during a pollution event that occurred in the St. Louis metropolitan region in 2012. These trace gases will be two of the primary constituents that will be measured by TEMPO (Tropospheric Emissions: Monitoring of Pollution), an instrument on a geostationary platform, which will result in a dataset that has hourly temporal resolution during the daytime and ~4 km spatial resolution. Although air quality managers are most concerned with surface concentrations, satellite measurements provide a quantity that reflects a column amount, which may or may not be directly relatable to what is measured at the surface. Our model results provide reasonably good agreement with observed surface O3 concentrations (correlation coefficients ranging from 0.69 to 0.87 at each of the nine monitoring stations in the St. Louis region), which is the only trace gas dataset that can be used for verification. The model shows that a plume of O3 extends downwind from St. Louis and contains an integrated amount of ozone of ~ 16 Dobson Units (DU; 1 DU = 2.69 x 1016 molecules cm-2), an amount lower than what was observed during two massive pollution episodes in the 1980s. Based on the smaller isolatable emissions coming from St. Louis, this quantity is not unreasonable, but may also reflect the reduction of photochemical ozone production due to the implementation of emission controls that have gone into effect since the 1980s.

Subject Areas

Tropospheric ozone; pollution episode; satellite measurements; regional transport

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