Highly-resolved Modeling of Emissions and Concentrations of Carbon Monoxide, Carbon Dioxide, Nitrogen Oxides, and Fine Particulate Matter in Salt Lake City, Utah

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Monday, 5 January 2015: 4:15 PM
128AB (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Daniel Mendoza, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT; and J. Lin, L. Mitchell, J. Ehleringer, K. Gurney, R. Patarasuk, D. O'Keeffe, T. Song, and J. Huang

Accurate, high-resolution data on air pollutant emissions and concentrations are needed to understand human exposures and for both policy and pollutant management purposes. An important step in this process is also quantification of uncertainties.

We present a spatially explicit and highly resolved emissions inventory for Salt Lake County, Utah, and trace gas concentration estimates for carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and fine particle (PM2.5) within Salt Lake City. We assess the validity of this approach by comparing measured concentrations against simulated values derived from combining the emissions inventory with an atmospheric model.

The emissions inventory for the criteria pollutants was constructed using the 2011 National Emissions Inventory (NEI). The spatial and temporal allocation methods from the Emission Modeling Clearinghouse data set are used to downscale the NEI data from annual to hourly scales and from county-level to 500 m x 500 m resolution. Onroad mobile source emissions were estimated by combining a bottom-up emissions calculation approach for large roadway links within Salt Lake City with a top-down spatial allocation approach for other roadways. Vehicle activity data for road links were derived from automatic traffic responder data and local sources. The emissions inventory for CO2 was obtained from the Hestia emissions data product at an hourly, building, facility, and road link resolution.

The AERMOD Gaussian plume dispersion model and the CALPUFF puff dispersion models were used to transport the resulting emissions and estimate air pollutant concentrations at an hourly temporal and 500 m x 500 m spatial resolution. Modeled results were compared against measurements from a mobile lab equipped with trace gas measurement equipment traveling on pre-determined routes in the Salt Lake City area. The comparison between both approaches to concentration estimation highlights spatial locations and hours of high variability/uncertainty.

Results presented here will inform understanding of variability and uncertainty in emissions and concentrations in order to better inform future policy. This work will also facilitate the development of a systematic approach to incorporate measurement data and models to better inform estimates of pollutant concentrations that determine the extent to which urban populations are exposed to adverse air quality.