Science Inventory

A Hybrid Approach for Estimating Total Deposition in the United States


Lear, G. AND D. Schwede. A Hybrid Approach for Estimating Total Deposition in the United States. 2015 Acid Rain Conference, Rochester, NY, October 19 - 23, 2015.


The National Exposure Research Laboratory (NERL) Atmospheric Modeling and Analysis Division (AMAD) conducts research in support of EPA mission to protect human health and the environment. AMAD research program is engaged in developing and evaluating predictive atmospheric models on all spatial and temporal scales for forecasting the air quality and for assessing changes in air quality and air pollutant exposures, as affected by changes in ecosystem management and regulatory decisions. AMAD is responsible for providing a sound scientific and technical basis for regulatory policies based on air quality models to improve ambient air quality. The models developed by AMAD are being used by EPA, NOAA, and the air pollution community in understanding and forecasting not only the magnitude of the air pollution problem, but also in developing emission control policies and regulations for air quality improvements.


Atmospheric deposition of nitrogen and sulfur causes many deleterious effects on ecosystems including acidification and excess eutrophication. Assessments to support development of strategies to mitigate these effects require spatially and temporally continuous values of nitrogen and sulfur deposition. In the U.S., national monitoring networks exist that provide values of wet and dry deposition at discrete locations. While wet deposition can be interpolated between the monitoring locations, dry deposition cannot. Additionally, monitoring networks do not measure the complete suite of chemicals that contribute to total sulfur and nitrogen deposition. Regional air quality models provide spatially continuous values of deposition of monitored species as well as important unmeasured species. However, air quality modeling values are not generally available for an extended continuous time period. Air quality modeling results may also be biased for some chemical species. We developed a novel approach for estimating dry deposition using data from monitoring networks such as the Clean Air Status and Trends Network (CASTNET), the National Atmospheric Deposition Program (NADP) Ammonia Monitoring Network (AMoN), and the Southeastern Aerosol Research and Characterization (SEARCH) network and modeled data from the Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) model. These dry deposition values estimates are then combined with wet deposition values from the NADP National Trends Network (NTN) to develop values of total deposition of sulfur and nitrogen. Data developed using this method are made available via the CASTNET and NADP websites. Issues remain in incorporating results from the CMAQ 5.0 ammonia bidirectional flux module, providing meaningful information for base cations, and incorporating data from 1-in-3 monitoring networks (e.g., IMPROVE and CSN).

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Record Details:

Product Published Date: 10/23/2015
Record Last Revised: 03/16/2016
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 311372