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Project at a Glance

Project Status: complete

Title: Study of nitrate air quality in the South Coast Air Basin

Principal Investigator / Author(s): Cass, Glen R.

Contractor: Environmental Quality Laboratory, California Institute of Technology

Contract Number: A7-169-30

Research Program Area: Atmospheric Processes


Aerosol nitrates are important contributors to the visibility reduction experienced in the Los Angeles area. This problem is particularly severe in the eastern portion of the South Coast Air Basin near the city of Riverside, where up to 40% of the light scattering observed during the ACHEX experiment was attributed to particulate nitrates.

At the beginning of the research effort reported here it was known that aerosol nitrates are formed in the atmosphere during chemical reactions involving precursor emissions of gaseous oxides of nitrogen and ammonia. The ability to closely define the cause and effect relationship between emission sources and resulting nitrate air quality was hidden by the chemical complexity of the system. The purpose of this research was to explore the feasibility of constructing a mathematical air quality model that could be used for testing control measures directed at gas phase precursor emissions for their effect on downwind aerosol nitrate air quality.


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

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