Aerosol and Gas-phase Characteristics in Relation to Meteorology: Case Studies in Populated Arid Settings
AuthorCrosbie, Ewan Colin
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractAtmospheric aerosols and trace gases are a highly relevant component of the climate system affecting atmospheric radiative transfer and the hydrologic cycle. In arid and semi-arid regions, where cloud cover is often low and precipitation is generally scarce and sporadic, the driving processes accounting for the production, loss and transport of atmospheric constituents are often distinctly different from other climates. In arid regions, the same circulation dynamics that suppress cloud formation can be responsible for creating strong subsidence inversions, which cap atmospheric mixing and trap pollutants close to the surface, often placing populated arid regions high on global rankings of air pollution concerns. In addition, low soil moisture can encourage wind-blown dust emissions, which can be a significant fraction of the total aerosol loading in both coarse and fine modes on a mass basis. Three distinct focus regions are investigated over varying time scales, using a diverse set of techniques, and with wide-ranging primary goals. 1) the Tehran metropolitan area in Iran over a ten-year period from 2000-2009, 2) Tucson, Arizona over 2012-2014 with three intensive monitoring periods during summer 2014 and winter 2015 and 3) the San Joaquin Valley in California during the NASA DISCOVER-AQ campaign during Jan-Feb 2013. However, in all cases, local and regional scale meteorology play a significant role in controlling the spatiotemporal variability in trace gas and aerosol concentrations. Particular emphasis is placed on understanding transport pathways due to the local wind patterns and the importance of key meteorological parameters such as temperature, humidity and solar radiation on controlling production and loss mechanisms. While low in magnitude, the precipitation pattern is still an important sink mechanism that modulates gas phase and particle abundances in all three regions, either through scavenging or by promoting vertical mixing. The reported measurements and data analysis serve to improve the characterization of trace gases and aerosols in populated arid regions and offer process level understanding of dominant mechanisms for model validations and improvements.
Degree ProgramGraduate College