An Odd Oxygen Framework for Wintertime Ammonium Nitrate Aerosol Pollution in Urban Areas: NOx and VOC Control as Mitigation Strategies

C. C. Womack, E. E. McDuffie, P. M. Edwards, R. Bares, J. A. de Gouw, K. S. Docherty, W. P. Dubé, D. L. Fibiger, A. Franchin, J. B. Gilman, L. Goldberger, B. H. Lee, J. C. Lin, R. Long, A. M. Middlebrook, D. B. Millet, A. Moravek, J. G. Murphy, P. K. Quinn, T. P. RiedelJ. M. Roberts, J. A. Thornton, L. C. Valin, P. R. Veres, A. R. Whitehill, R. J. Wild, C. Warneke, B. Yuan, M. Baasandorj, S. S. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations

Abstract

Wintertime ammonium nitrate aerosol pollution is a severe air quality issue affecting both developed and rapidly urbanizing regions from Europe to East Asia. In the United States, it is acute in western basins subject to inversions that confine pollutants near the surface. Measurements and modeling of a wintertime pollution episode in Salt Lake Valley, Utah, demonstrate that ammonium nitrate is closely related to photochemical ozone through a common parameter, total odd oxygen, Ox,total. We show that the traditional nitrogen oxide and volatile organic compound (NOx-VOC) framework for evaluating ozone mitigation strategies also applies to ammonium nitrate. Despite being nitrate-limited, ammonium nitrate aerosol pollution in Salt Lake Valley is responsive to VOCs control and, counterintuitively, not initially responsive to NOx control. We demonstrate simultaneous nitrate limitation and NOx saturation and suggest this phenomenon may be general. This finding may identify an unrecognized control strategy to address a global public health issue in regions with severe winter aerosol pollution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4971-4979
Number of pages9
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume46
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - May 16 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
©2019. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Keywords

  • Salt Lake City
  • ammonium nitrate aerosol
  • box modeling
  • odd oxygen
  • wintertime air quality

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