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Project at a Glance

Project Status: complete

Title: Sources of visibility degradation in the Lake Tahoe Air Basin

Principal Investigator / Author(s): Cahill, Thomas A.

Contractor: Crocker Nuclear Laboratory, UC Davis

Contract Number: A-5-005-87

Research Program Area: Atmospheric Processes

Topic Areas: Lake Tahoe Study


Air quality in the Lake Tahoe region has been a concern for a number of years. This study was designed to examine some of the sources of the air pollution in the Lake Tahoe basin. The first step was an evaluation of the Air Resources Board sampling of 1973. From this data the local contribution of different gas and particulate pollutants was postulated. A sampling station was then established at South Lake Tahoe and particulates in three size regions were collected and analyzed for elemental content. To determine if the data from this station were representative of the basin, a profile of Lake Tahoe was developed. It was determined that the concentrations of the major elements were quite different from site to site. It was also found that the most polluted site was South Lake Tahoe. A spatial profile in South Lake Tahoe was then conducted to determine the sources in this region. It was possible to identify automotive traffic as one source in the area. The origin of the sulfur aerosols was not identified.


For questions regarding this research project, including available data and progress status, contact: Heather Choi at (916) 322-3893

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