The authors would like to express their gratitude to the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) for supporting and funding Projects H78. In addition we would like to thank the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) for supporting and funding this research under grant 582-5-64594. DBA acknowledges support from the Atmospheric Composition and Climate program at the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration through award number NA05OAR4310108.
Air quality -- Texas -- Gulf Coast, Air quality, Air -- Pollution -- Measurement
Extensive aerosol optical properties, particle size distributions, and Aerodyne quadrupole aerosol mass spectrometer measurements collected during TRAMP/TexAQS 2006 were examined in light of collocated meteorological and chemical measurements. Much of the evident variability in the observed aerosol-related air quality is due to changing synoptic meteorological situations that direct emissions from various sources to the TRAMP site near the center of the Houston-Galveston-Brazoria (HGB) metropolitan area. In this study, five distinct long-term periods have been identified. During each of these periods, observed aerosol properties have implications that are of interest to environmental quality management agencies. During three of the periods, long range transport (LRT), both intra-continental and intercontinental, appears to have played an important role in producing the observed aerosol. During late August 2006, southerly winds brought super-micron Saharan dust and sea salt to the HGB area, adding mass to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) measurements, but apparently not affecting secondary particle growth or gas-phase air pollution. A second type of LRT was associated with northerly winds in early September 2006 and with increased ozone and sub-micron particulate matter in the HGB area. Later in the study, LRT of emissions from wildfires appeared to increase the abundance of absorbing aerosols (and carbon monoxide and other chemical tracers) in the HGB area. However, the greatest impacts on Houston PM2.5air quality are caused by periods with low-wind-speed sea breeze circulation or winds that directly transport pollutants from major industrial areas, i.e., the Houston Ship Channel, into the city center.
Wright, M. E., Atkinson, D. B., Ziemba, L., Griffin, R., Hiranuma, N., Brooks, S., & ... Kelley, P. (2010). Extensive aerosol optical properties and aerosol mass related measurements during TRAMP/TexAQS 2006 – Implications for PM compliance and planning. Atmospheric Environment, 44(33), 4035-4044.