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Florence, AZ, United States

Clements A.L.,Rice University | Clements A.L.,Colorado State University | Fraser M.P.,Arizona State University | Upadhyay N.,Arizona State University | And 5 more authors.
Atmospheric Pollution Research | Year: 2013

The Desert Southwest Coarse Particulate Matter Study was undertaken to further our understanding of ambient concentrations and the composition of fine and coarse particles in rural, arid environments. Sampling was conducted in Pinal County, Arizona between February 2009 and February 2010. The goals of this study were to: (1) chemically characterize the coarse and fine fraction of the ambient particulate matter in terms of mass, ions, elements, bulk organic and elemental carbon; (2) examine the temporal and spatial variability of particles within the area using a series of three sampling locations and use this information to determine the contribution of local vs. regional sources; (3) collect, re-suspend, and chemically characterize various crustal sources within the area to identify differences which may isolate them (crustal sources) as independent sources, and; (4) use a receptor based modeling approach to identify particle sources and the relative impact of each on ambient PM concentrations. This work reviews the study objectives, design, site descriptions, and measurement techniques relevant to this research effort and presents the general characteristics of PM during the study period. This unique dataset will support efforts to reduce PM10 and PM2.5 concentrations in the area to below the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for these pollutants. Coarse particle concentrations are, on average, approximately 5 times fine particle mass concentrations within the region. Coarse particle concentrations in Pinal County are highest during spring and fall seasons, consistent with the tilling and harvesting seasons while fine particles concentrations are highest during fall. Crustal material is the dominant component of coarse particle composition, representing 50% of the mass on average followed closely by organic matter representing 15%. Fine particles still contain a significant crustal fraction (30%) but organic matter dominates at 37% of the particle mass. © Author(s) 2014. Source

Clements A.L.,Rice University | Fraser M.P.,Arizona State University | Upadhyay N.,Arizona State University | Herckes P.,Arizona State University | And 3 more authors.
Journal of the Air and Waste Management Association | Year: 2013

A year-long study was conducted in Pinal County, AZ, to characterize coarse (2.5 - 10 μm aerodynamic diameter, AD) and fine (< 2.5 μm AD) particulate matter (PMc and PMf, respectively) to further understand spatial and temporal variations in ambient PM concentrations and composition in rural, arid environments. Measurements of PMc and PMf mass, ions, elements, and carbon concentrations at one-in-six day resolution were obtained at three sites within the region. Results from the summer of 2009 and specifically the local monsoon period are presented. The summer monsoon season (July - September) and associated rain and/or high wind events, has historically had the largest number of PM10 NAAQS exceedances within a year. Rain events served to clean the atmosphere, decreasing PMc concentrations resulting in a more uniform spatial gradient among the sites. The monsoon period also is characterized by high wind events, increasing PMc mass concentrations, possibly due to increased local wind-driven soil erosion or transport. Two PM10 NAAQS exceedances at the urban monitoring site were explained by high wind events and can likely be excluded from PM10 compliance calculations as exceptional events. At the more rural Cowtown site, PM10 NAAQS exceedances were more frequent, likely due to the impact from local dust sources. PM mass concentrations at the Cowtown site were typically higher than at the Pinal County Housing and Casa Grande sites. Crustal material was equal to 52-63% of the PMc mass concentration on average. High concentrations of phosphate and organic carbon found at the rural Cowtown were associated with local cattle feeding operations. A relatively high correlation between PMc and PMf (R2 = 0.63) indicated that the lower tail of the coarse particle fraction often impacts the fine particle fraction, increasing the PMf concentrations. Therefore, reductions in PMc sources will likely also reduce PMf concentrations, which also are near the value of the 24-hr PM2.5 NAAQS. In the desert southwest, summer monsoons are often associated with above average PM10 (<10 μm AD) mass concentrations. Competing influences of monsoon rain and wind events showed that rain suppresses ambient concentrations while high wind increase them. In this region, the PMc fraction dominates PM10 and crustal sources contribute 52-63% to local PMc mass concentrations on average. Cattle feedlot emissions are also an important source and a unique chemical signature was identified for this source. Observations suggest monsoon wind events alone cannot explain PM10 NAAQS exceedances, thus requiring these values to remain in compliance calculations rather than being removed as exceptional wind events. © 2013 Copyright 2013 A&WMA. Source

Sprigg W.A.,University of Arizona | Sprigg W.A.,Chapman University | Nickovic S.,University of Arizona | Nickovic S.,European Service Center | And 13 more authors.
Aeolian Research | Year: 2014

On 5 July 2011, a massive dust storm struck Phoenix, Arizona (USA), raising concerns for increased cases of valley fever (coccidioidomycosis, or, cocci). A quasi-operational experimental airborne dust forecast system predicted the event and provides model output for continuing analysis in collaboration with public health and air quality communities. An objective of this collaboration was to see if a signal in cases of valley fever in the region could be detected and traced to the storm - an American haboob. To better understand the atmospheric life cycle of cocci spores, the DREAM dust model (also herein, NMME-DREAM) was modified to simulate spore emission, transport and deposition. Inexact knowledge of where cocci-causing fungus grows, the low resolution of cocci surveillance and an overall active period for significant dust events complicate analysis of the effect of the 5 July 2011 storm. In the larger context of monthly to annual disease surveillance, valley fever statistics, when compared against PM10 observation networks and modeled airborne dust concentrations, may reveal a likely cause and effect. Details provided by models and satellites fill time and space voids in conventional approaches to air quality and disease surveillance, leading to land-atmosphere modeling and remote sensing that clearly mark a path to advance valley fever epidemiology, surveillance and risk avoidance. © 2014 The Authors. Source

Upadhyay N.,Arizona State University | Upadhyay N.,Global Water Sustainability Center | Clements A.L.,Rice University | Clements A.L.,Arizona State University | And 6 more authors.
Aerosol and Air Quality Research | Year: 2015

As part of the Desert Southwest Coarse Particulate Matter Study which characterized the composition of fine and coarse particulate matter in Pinal County, AZ during 2010–2011, several source samples were collected from several different soil types to assist in source apportionment analysis of the study results. Soil types included native desert soils, agricultural soils (crop farming), dirt-road material adjacent to agricultural areas, paved road dusts, dirt road material from within and adjacent to a cattle feedlot, and material from an active cattle feedlot. Following laboratory resuspension of the soil, sizesegregated PM2.5 and PM10 fractions for each source type were collected on filters and characterized for mass, ions, OC, EC, and trace elements. While there are unique chemical compositions of soils in the region (e.g., high As and Sb) that reiterate the importance of using local source profiles (e.g., native soils) as compared to Upper Continental Crust or soil profiles from other regions in receptor modeling studies. The study also provides new insights into the impact of land-use modification on source emission profiles. Specifically, high OC and PO43– are found in material representative of local cattle feedlot activities while elevated Cu, Sb and Zn are found from sources impacted by motor vehicle traffic. Results of the study indicate that the local native soil composition is only slightly modified by agricultural activities and this study provides the chemical composition of both native and agricultural soil for source apportionment studies in the Desert Southwest. © 2015, Taiwan Association for Aerosol Research. Source

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