Ambient fine particulate concentrations and chemical composition at two sampling sites in metropolitan Pittsburgh: A 2001 intensive summer study

William K. Modey, Delbert J. Eatough, Richard R. Anderson, Donald V. Martello, Satoshi Takahama, Leonard J. Lucas, Cliff I. Davidson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

The concentration and chemical composition of ambient fine particulate material (PM2.5) is reported for two sampling sites in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania metropolitan area: the Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) PM study site south of the city center, and the Carnegie Mellon Pittsburgh Air Quality Study (PAQS) site 5km east of central Pittsburgh established with funding by the EPA Supersites Program and by DOE-NETL. Data from these sampling sites were characterized by one to three-day episodes with PM2.5 concentrations (constructed from the sum of the chemical components) exceeding 40.0μgm-3. The episodes were dominated by high concentrations of ammonium sulfate. The fine particle concentrations were compared with meteorological data from surface weather maps and a Hybrid Single Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory model (HYSPLIT model), with back-trajectories estimated over 24h. High PM2.5 concentrations were associated with transition from a high pressure to a low pressure regime in advance of an approaching frontal system indicating long-range transport of pollutants. In contrast, fine particulate organic material appeared to be dominated by nearby sources. Distinct differences were observed in the diurnal variations in concentration between the two sites. The NETL site showed clear maximum concentrations of semi-volatile organic material (SVOM) during midday, and minimum concentrations of nonvolatile organic compounds in the afternoon. In contrast, the Carnegie Mellon PAQS site showed an absence of diurnal variation in SVOM, but still with minimum concentrations of nonvolatile organic compounds in the afternoon and evening. Neither site showed significant diurnal variation in ammonium sulfate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3165-3178
Number of pages14
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Volume38
Issue number20
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2004
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Local emissions
  • Long-range transport
  • PM composition
  • PM episode
  • Pittsburgh

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Atmospheric Science

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