Atmospheric Organic and Elemental Carbon Particle Concentrations in Southern CaliforniaEPA Grant Number: U915397
Title: Atmospheric Organic and Elemental Carbon Particle Concentrations in Southern California
Investigators: Mertz, Kimberly A.
Institution: California Institute of Technology
EPA Project Officer: Lee, Sonja
Project Period: January 1, 1998 through January 1, 2001
Project Amount: $34,000
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (1998) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: Fellowship - Environmental Engineering , Engineering and Environmental Chemistry , Academic Fellowships
The objective of this research project is to assess the spatial and temporal distribution of aerosol carbon particle concentrations in Southern California.
Elemental carbon and organic compounds account for a major fraction of the fine particle mass concentration in the southern California atmosphere. Yet, elemental and organic carbon particle concentration data presently are available only in the urban Los Angeles area and in some parts of California's San Joaquin Valley. Little or no data are available in rural areas or along the central California coast. Beginning in 1994, and continuing to the present year, fine-particle samples have been collected at 12 air monitoring sites throughout Southern California in conjunction with a study of air pollutant effects on children's health. The sampling locations range from Atascadero in inland central California on the north, to Santa Maria and Lompoc along the Santa Barbara County coast, through the metropolitan Los Angeles area, and into the mountains east of Los Angeles and east of San Diego. At each of these sites, particle samples of 2-weeks duration have been collected sequentially on quartz fiber filters. These samples are being analyzed to determine total carbon, elemental carbon, and organic carbon concentrations by thermal evolution and combustion analysis. From these data, the spatial and temporal distribution of aerosol carbon particle concentrations is being assessed over much of the southern half of the state. To date, data from the year 1995 have been processed, and analysis of data from the years 1994 and 1996-1998 is in progress.