This project supports a workshop, "The AQUARIUS (Air QUAlity Research In the western US) Workshop," to be held in Salt Lake City, Utah for two days in 2019. The goal of the workshop is to bring together experts to discuss and develop plans for a future aircraft campaign to investigate wintertime particulate matter (PM) in the mountain basins of the Western U.S. The outcome of the project will be a white paper outlining the scope and plan for a future aircraft and ground-based field campaign. Early career scientists will be given priority for travel support,
Despite the now extensive knowledge of atmospheric chemistry and the formation of PM, existing models do not reproduce pollutant concentrations in several air basins in the Western US. The chemistry in these regions is significantly impacted by the boundary layer meteorology which can confine the pollution mixture below the height of surrounding terrain for an extended period. During the PCAPs local and regional emissions accumulate and age, changing the composition of the PM. While previous field studies have investigated the boundary and atmospheric chemistry individually, no studies have collected a suite of data needed to assess their interactions. Additionally, because precursors of PM are often emitted with GHGs, both will be impacted by GHG mitigation plans. The goal of this workshop is to bring together research leaders and young scientists in the boundary-layer meteorology, atmospheric chemistry, and urban carbon cycle communities to develop joint and complementary science objectives for a large measurement campaign in the western U.S. Discussions will focus on the following topics: 1) the impact of agricultural emissions, residential wood combustion, and volatile chemical products on wintertime air quality; 2) the data and parameterizations needed to improve models of wintertime PCAPs; 3) the impact of inter-basin transport and vertical stratification of PCAPs; 4) the emission ratios between PM precursors and GHGs; and 5) how GHG mitigation actions might affect wintertime air quality. The broader impacts of this project will be the development of a document to guide development of a future field campaign focused on addressing these scientific goals. Additionally, the workshop organizers have existing relationships with state and local air quality management agencies and the scientific knowledge and data obtained in this effort would be used to address current challenges within air quality management.
This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.