Investigations of Factors Determining the Occurrence of Ozone and Fine Particles in Northeastern USA

EPA Grant Number: R826373
Title: Investigations of Factors Determining the Occurrence of Ozone and Fine Particles in Northeastern USA
Investigators: Philbrick, C. Russell
Current Investigators: Philbrick, C. Russell , Allen, George , Clark, Richard , Daum, Peter , Dickerson, Russell R. , Doddridge, Bruce , Georgopoulos, Panos G. , Hatch, Victoria , Hogrefe, Christian , Kleinman, Larry , Koutrakis, Petros , Lawrence, Joy , Lazaridis, M. , Mohnen, Volker , Munger, J. W. , Porter, Steve , Rao, S. Trivikrama , Ryan, William , Wofsy, Steven C. , Wolfson, Jack M. , Zurbenko, Igor
Institution: Pennsylvania State University
Current Institution: Pennsylvania State University , Brookhaven National Laboratory , Harvard University , Millersville University of Pennsylvania , Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey , The State University of New York at Albany , University of Idaho , University of Maryland
EPA Project Officer: Shapiro, Paul
Project Period: April 15, 1998 through April 14, 2003 (Extended to April 14, 2004)
Project Amount: $3,000,000
RFA: Special Opportunity in Tropospheric Ozone (1997) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Air Quality and Air Toxics , Air


The focus of this study will be concentrated on an urban region where the fine particle concentrations and ozone concentration levels are frequently coupled during pollution events, the selected location is the city of Philadelphia, PA. The major goal of these air pollution studies is to understand the emission sources and atmospheric processes which cause elevated air pollutant concentrations by considering both local and regional scales. Many pollutants exhibit similar spatial and temporal concentration patterns, due to photochemical, meteorological, and other factors, including the fact that they have similar precursors which have similar emissions sources. The links between ozone and fine particle mass are especially striking, but there are several significant gaps in understanding which can limit effective decision making and control strategies.

The objectives are to investigate the urban polluted environment to find the relationships and conditions leading to high ozone concentrations and increased levels of fine particles, determine the contributions from local and distant sources, examine the role of that meteorological properties play in concentrating and distributing pollutant concentrations and interpret these results within the context of past measurement programs to extend the knowledge gained to other applicable locations and atmospheric conditions.


The latest developments in remote sensing techniques and insitu measuring instruments will be brought to bear on the problem of understanding the urban polluted atmosphere with extended (6 to 8 week periods during two summer seasons) and intensive measurements during enhanced summer exceedances in the ozone and fine particle concentrations in Philadelphia PA. The local and distant sources of pollutants will be considered by installing instrumented sites in the urban area, making aircraft measurements to determine the upwind and downwind distribution, and using the network of PAMS and other ground sites in the Northeast region. The measurements will be made through two summer seasons and supporting data will be obtained during a brief sensor verification campaign and a winter measurement period.

Expected Results:

The extended summer measurement periods should provide a critical data base to describe the vertical and horizontal distribution of the ozone and fine particle concentrations, together with the meteorological conditions to allow interpretation of the contributions from local and distant sources to the urban pollution exceedances of ozone and PM10 as well as the new PM2.5 standards. The importance of entrainment and distribution to and from reservoirs the boundary layer and the lower free troposphere will be determined. The first instrument performance campaign will provide an opportunity to verify the data products of all sensors and will provide an input to our efforts for quality assurance of the final data product. The brief winter campaign using the same suite of sensors in the winter environment will provide an opportunity for comparisons with the summer results, but under conditions of a vastly different photochemical production rate.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 194 publications for this project

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this project: View all 20 journal articles for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

urban atmospheric chemistry, pollution monitoring, ozone chemistry sources/sinks, fine particle sources/sinks, meteorological influences on atmospheric pollution, diurnal cycle of polluted air masses, regional factors influencing urban pollution, urban forcing of regional air chemistry, connections between ozone and fine particle sources, dynamical influences on chemical processes, vertical transport, atmospheric chemical reservoirs., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Air, Geographic Area, Environmental Chemistry, State, Environmental Monitoring, tropospheric ozone, Atmospheric Sciences, emission sources, urban air, remote sensing, ambient ozone data, ozone occurrence, Pennsylvania, ambient air, air pollution models, diurnal cycle of polluted air masses, fine particle sources, atmospheric chemical reservoirs, meteorological fluctuations, PA

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 1998 Progress Report
  • 1999 Progress Report
  • 2000 Progress Report
  • 2001
  • 2002 Progress Report
  • Final