First Advisor

Linda A. George

Date of Publication

Winter 4-8-2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Environmental Science and Management


Environmental Science and Management




Nitrates -- Environmental aspects -- Oregon -- Portland, Nitrates -- Environmental aspects -- Columbia River Gorge (Or. and Wash.), Organonitrogen compounds -- Environmental aspects, Air -- Pollution -- Oregon -- Portland, Air -- Pollution -- Columbia River Gorge (Or. and Wash.)



Physical Description

1 online resource (ix, 71 pages)


This work studied the production of aerosol-phase organic nitrates in both Portland and the Columbia River Gorge (CRG). Ozone and NOx species were investigated for correlation with organic nitrate aerosol, as they function as precursors to the production of organic nitrates. These ambient gas-phase measurements were collected in the same locations as high-volume (Hi-Vol) filters samples, in an urban and rural gorge setting to investigate correlations at the origin of the pollution plume and downwind. A novel Soxhlet extraction method for Hi-Vol filters was developed based on literature and EPA standard methods. Analysis for nitrate production was done by segregating data based on times when the wind blew out of Portland and down the CRG versus times when flow was not westerly. Filters were then compared to ambient gas-phase measurements and derived NO3 radical production rates to look for trends. Wind direction had a strong influence on the concentrations of precursor molecules in the CRG. On days with a westerly wind direction into the gorge, concentrations of the measure aerosol organic nitrates were similar at both sides. This suggests some contribution of a broader regional production of organic nitrates. There was some correlation between the production rate of NO3 radicals and the measured organic nitrate aerosol, suggesting a role for NO3 + VOC production of organic nitrates that later partition to the aerosol phase. This information will better illuminate the fate of nitrogen downwind of pollution sources. The information will also help to create a better understanding of the way topography and meteorological conditions can influence the flow of pollution. Understanding the downwind oxidative chemistry that happens in the CRG would better support both pollution prevention and mitigation efforts.


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