Science Inventory

The Southeast Atmosphere Studies (SAS): coordinated investigation and discovery to answer critical questions about fundamental atmospheric processes


Carlton, A., J. de Gouw, J. Jimenez, J. Ambrose, S. Brown, K. Baker, C. Brock, R. Cohen, S. Edgerton, C. Farkas, D. Farmer, A. Goldstein, L. Gratz, A. Guenther, S. Hunt, L. Jaegle, D. Jaffe, J. Mak, C. McClure, A. Nenes, T. Nguyen, J. Pierce, N. Selin, V. Shah, S. Shaw, P. Shepson, S. Song, J. Stutz, J. Surratt, B. Turpin, C. Warneke, R. Washenfelder, P. Wennberg, AND X. Zhou. The Southeast Atmosphere Studies (SAS): coordinated investigation and discovery to answer critical questions about fundamental atmospheric processes. BULLETIN OF THE AMERICAN METEOROLOGICAL SOCIETY. American Meteorological Society, Boston, MA, 99(3):547-567, (2018).


This manuscript provides an overview of the major field campaigns for the summer of 2013. The field data is now public and available to anyone. Data mining by the entire atmospheric science community, in particular, not the chemists, has the power to transform our understanding of atmospheric processes and improve atmospheric models. We intentionally wanted to submit this manuscript to BAMS in order to reach out to the broader, non--‐chemistry, community.


The Southeast Atmosphere Studies (SAS), encompassing the Southern Oxidant and Aerosol Study (SOAS), the Southeast Nexus of Air Quality and Climate (SENEX) study, the Nitrogen, Oxidants, Mercury and Aerosols: Distributions, Sources and Sinks (NOMADSS) study deployed in the field from June 1 - July 15, 2013 in the central and eastern United States. SAS investigated atmospheric chemistry and the associated air quality and climate implications. Coordinated measurements from six ground sites, four aircraft, tall towers, balloon-borne sondes, existing surface networks, and satellites provide in situ and remotely sensed data on trace-gas composition, aerosol physicochemical properties, and local and synoptic meteorology. Selected SAS findings indicate that (1) dramatically reduced NOx concentrations have altered ozone production regimes in this region and (2) indicators of ‘biogenic’ secondary organic aerosol (SOA), once considered part of the natural background, were positively correlated with one or more indicators of anthropogenic pollution, including ozone, sulfate and NOx. These findings suggest that atmosphere-biosphere interactions modulate ambient pollutant concentrations, and show that the mechanisms and feedbacks are not yet adequately captured in atmospheric models. The SAS data set, now publicly available, is a powerful constraint on our understanding of the response in atmospheric composition to changes in emissions, chemistry and meteorology.

Record Details:

Product Published Date: 04/19/2018
Record Last Revised: 05/22/2018
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 340852