Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Atmospheric Science Letters

Volume

2016

Publisher

Royal Meteorological Society

Publication Date

7-27-2016

DOI

10.1002/asl.680

Abstract

Residents near the Great Salt Lake in northern Utah, USA have been exposed to ozone levels during recent summers exceeding the current United States National Ambient Air Quality Standard. Accurately forecasting those exceedances has been difficult as a result of the complex meteorological and photochemical processes fostering them. To help improve such forecasts, a low-cost field study was conducted during summer 2015 to provide comprehensive observations of boundary-layer ozone concentrations in the context of the prevailing meteorological conditions. A network of surface ozone sensors was supplemented by sensors mounted on vehicles, a public transit light-rail car, news helicopter, tethered sonde, and unmanned aerial vehicle. The temporal and spatial evolution of boundary-layer ozone concentrations were compared with the prevailing regional and local meteorological conditions on the basis of gridded operational analyses, surface weather stations, and additional sensors deployed for the field study. High ozone concentrations during June 2015 resulted primarily from local processes while smoke transported from distant wildfires contributed to elevated ozone concentrations during August. The Great Salt Lake influenced ozone concentrations along the Wasatch Front through several mechanisms, most importantly its impact on local wind circulations. The highest ozone concentrations were often found in a narrow zone between the Great Salt Lake and the urban regions to its south and east. Observations from multiple fixed site and mobile platforms during 18–19 August illustrate the complex variations in ozone concentrations as a function of elevation at the surface as well as vertically through the deep boundary layer.

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