The University of Utah will conduct a study intended to significantly reduce uncertainties regarding the temporal, spatial, and particle size distributions of particulate chloride. Through source apportionment, the study will also identify the dominant sources of this important halogen. These results will provide important emission inventory constraints for future air quality modeling efforts performed by UDAQ and others.
Principal Investigator: Kevin Perry (University of Utah)
Funded by Science for Solutions Research Grant: $75,735
The University of Utah is conducting a study to determine the meteorological factors that contribute to elevated surface ozone near the Great Salt Lake. The core task for this project is to evaluate from ozone observations and meteorological observations and model analyses the timing of buildup in ozone in the southern Farmington Bay region and subsequent transport into Davis and Salt Lake counties. Completion of this task will provide resources that are likely to enhance operational air quality forecasting and provide critical information to initialize and verify air chemistry models used to identify approaches to meet federal air quality standards.
Principal Investigator: John Horel (University of Utah)
Funded by Science for Solutions Research Grant: $63,084
Utah State University and the University of Utah will use a method known as top-down emission estimation to refine volatile organic compound emissions from oil and gas production based on long-term surface level measurements of methane and hydrocarbons in the Uintah Basin. The objective of this project is to improve the Utah Division of Air Quality (UDAQ) bottom-up Uintah Basin Emission Inventory (UBEI), which is critical information for developing a regulatory model for UDAQ’s State Implementation Plan to attain the 8-hour federal ozone standard.
Principal Investigators: Seth Lyman (Utah State University), John C. Lin (University of Utah)
Funded by Science for Solutions Research Grant: $106,095
Brigham Young University will conduct a two-year project that will utilize state-of-the-science meteorological modeling with land use descriptions of the Great Salt Lake area to characterize impacts of urban growth on local meteorological conditions. Model methodology and usage will be documented so air quality modelers can use existing or self-developed future results for additional urban growth and air pollutant assessments.
Principal Investigator: Bradley Adams (BYU)
Funded by Science for Solutions Research Grant: $59,411
Ramboll and the Utah State University – Bingham Research Center (BRC) will conduct a study to thoroughly investigate wintertime ozone prediction sensitivity in the Uinta Basin among two current photochemical mechanisms using a consistent modeling platform. Recent air quality modeling conducted by BRC using different modeling systems indicates that the Regional Atmospheric Chemistry Mechanism (RACM) produces much higher ozone concentrations than the Carbon Bond (CB) mechanisms. Ramboll and the BRC will comprehensively test and understand RACM2 performance in simulating wintertime ozone in the Uinta Basin relative to the CB version 6 (CB6) mechanism currently implemented in the CAMx air quality model used by the Utah Division of Air Quality.
Principal Investigators: Greg Yarwood (Ramboll), Seth Lyman (Utah State University)
Funded by Science for Solutions Research Grant: $98,048
Utah State University scientists will improve estimates of the magnitude and composition of emissions from natural gas-fueled artificial lift engines in the Uinta Basin. Recent ambient air measurements have implicated natural gas-fueled engines as a large source of reactive organics, including formaldehyde, ethylene, propylene, and other compounds. The results from this project will allow Utah DAQ to better understand and model this source of ozone-forming pollution in the Uinta Basin and develop science-based, effective emissions reduction strategies for wintertime ozone.
Principal Investigators: Seth Lyman (USU), Huy Tran (USU)
Funded by Science for Solutions Research Grant: $117,300
The University of Utah will conduct vertical ozone profile measurements from ground level to the mid-stratosphere to develop a better understanding of ozone layers and evolution over Utah. Data collected by drones and balloons will provide information on the vertical distribution of ozone and nitrous dioxide (NO2) among other gases. This data will be used by UDAQ to inform policy and decision makers.
Tony Saad (UU), John Sohl (Weber State University)
Funded by Science for Solutions Research Grant: $92,463
Wildfires can significantly enhance summertime ozone and aerosol concentrations, which can degrade air quality and have adverse effects on human health. While air quality has improved across much of the U.S., the Western U.S. has seen a recent increase in wildfire activity. This project will assess the contribution of regional fires and long-range smoke transport to poor air quality in the Salt Lake Valley. This study will also improve our understanding of how wildfires interact with urban plumes, improve air quality modeling capabilities, and guide the implementation of effective regulatory policies.
Adam Kochanski (San Jose State University), Derek Mallia (UU), Kerry Kelly (UU)
Funded by Science for Solutions Research Grant: $79,768
The Great Salt Lake Basin is meteorologically and chemically distinct from other regions in the U.S. It is subject to both persistent cold air pools in complex terrain that lead to winter air pollution and potentially large inputs of natural and anthropogenic sources of halogen species. This project will investigate the role of these halogen sources in regulating the severity of winter fine particulate matter (PM2.5). Results from this study will improve estimates of halogen emissions and enhance Utah DAQ’s understanding of winter PM2.5 chemistry.
Steve Brown (NOAA), Caroline Womack (NOAA)
Funded by Science for Solutions Research Grant: $83,426
The Salt Lake City region in Utah experiences periods of high particulate levels in the winter months due to the combination of its topography, winter atmospheric inversions and local emissions. Secondary nitrate particles comprise the dominant fraction of the particles in these episodes and are the result of the reaction of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) with ammonia. A significant fraction of NOx emissions in the Salt Lake City area are produced by heavy-duty vehicles operating in or traveling through the area on the interstate highway system. This study will measure wintertime NOx emissions from local heavy-duty vehicle activity in order to improve Utah DAQ emissions inventory estimates and better inform policy.
Gary Bishop (University of Denver)
Funded by Science for Solutions Research Grant: $52,000
This study builds on last year’s effort to improve the speciation of volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from oil and gas wells in the Uintah Basin. Better speciation profiles will yield a better emission inventory for the basin and will help focus emission reduction strategies.
Principal Investigators: Trang Tran, Huy Tran (USU)
Funded by Science for Solutions Research Grant: $140,000
This study, led by researchers at BYU, will use particulate matter (PM) sampling to identify regional dust sources that impact local air quality and public health, as well as model how dust sources might change in the future.
Principal Investigators: Dr. Greg Carling (BYU)
Funded by Science for Solutions Research Grant: $150,000
This study will test if satellite observations of vegetation and land use can be used to improve photochemical model performance in the Uintah basin. An improved model will help inform emission reduction strategies and regulatory action.
Principal Investigators: Huy Tran, Trang Tran (USU)
Funded by Science for Solutions Research Grant: $38,392
The University of Utah will make measurements of vertical wind and aerosol profiles, as well as ozone and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) concentrations at the mouth of Red Butte Canyon in order to better understand air exchange in the Salt Lake Valley during wintertime PM2.5 events.
Principal Investigators: Sebastian W. Hoch, Erik T. Crosman (UU)
Funded by Science for Solutions Research Grant: $34,965
This study will deploy a number of ozone sensors at different distances up Red Butte Canyon to better understand natural gradients in ozone and how phenomena like large thunderstorms and valley drainage flows contribute to ozone concentrations in the Salt Lake Valley.
Principal Investigators: Logan Mitchell, Ryan Bares, David Eiriksson (UU)
Funded by Science for Solutions Research Grant: $39,833
This study will provide key meteorological support for the chemistry observations taken during the upcoming 2018--2019 winter season that are focused on the ammonia transport and air mass exchange between the Salt Lake and Utah Valleys.
Principal Investigators: Sebastian W. Hoch, Erik Crosman (UU)