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The Red Butte Canyon Air Mass Exchange and Pollution Transport Study

  • The Principal Investigators: Sebastian W. Hoch, Erik T. Crosman (U of U)
  • Funded by Science for Solutions Research Grant: $34,965
  • Study Period: July 1 2019 – December 31, 2020
  • DAQ Contact: Rachel Edie

During the wintertime, the Salt Lake Valley (SLV) experiences PM2.5 levels that are well above National air quality standards. These pollution episodes impact the health of local residents and are the result of complex atmospheric chemical and transport processes. This study seeks to measure ozone, PM2.5, and meteorological parameters at the mouth of Red Butte Canyon in order to understand how canyons contribute to the exchange of air and pollutants during wintertime PM2.5 events.

The University of Utah will make measurements of vertical wind and aerosol profiles, as well as ozone and PM2.5 concentrations at the mouth of Red Butte Canyon. Two additional aerosol profiles further down the canyon will help understand how aerosol concentration changes within the SLV. These data will help construct a more detailed picture of how fresh air enters the SLV during the night, and in turn how polluted air travels up the canyon during the day. These observations and measurements will help inform regulatory and emission control decisions.

Aerosol Backscatter Graph