Evolution of Nitrogen-Containing Air Pollutants Along Trajectories Crossing the Los Angeles Area

Lara S. Hughes, Jonathan O. Allen, Lynn G. Salmon, Paul R. Mayo, Robert J. Johnson, and Glen R. Cass
Environmental Science and Technology, 36 (2002) 3928--3935


Ambient aerosol sampling was conducted in Diamond Bar, Mira Loma, and Riverside, CA, to observe at close range the effects of ammonia emissions on air quality. These sites are located upwind, within, and downwind, respectively, of the Chino dairy area, the largest single source of ammonia emissions in the Los Angeles area. Inertial impactors and bulk filter samplers provided 4-7-h measurements of aerosol chemical composition and size distribution. Daily average fine particle mass concentrations were in the range 22.4-143.0 µg m-3. On some days the fine particulate matter concentrations were more than two times greater than the proposed 24-h Federal standard of 65 µg m-3. Ammonium nitrate was the largest component of fine particle mass at all three sites; 24-h average fine particulate ammonium plus nitrate concentrations ranged from 11.7 to 75.4 µg m-3. A single air mass was studied as it passed the Diamond Bar air monitoring site in the morning and stagnated near Mira Loma in the evening of the same day. Between these two sites NO was oxidized to NO2, and the ammonia concentration increased by a factor of 5. A second air parcel trajectory, which stagnated near Mira Loma during the early morning and passed near the Riverside site approximately 24 h later, showed a decrease in ammonia concentration over time that is consistent with dilution as the air mass moved downwind from the source of ammonia in the dairy area. Particulate NH4NO3 concentration in that air parcel remained approximately constant over time, consistent with a continued excess of NH3 relative to HNO3 downwind of the dairy area.

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