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2003-04 Seminars


The Pittsburgh Supersite Program: Characterization of Aerosols

Cliff Davidson
Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering at CMU

Abstract

In 2000, EPA established seven temporary Supersite Airborne Particle Monitoring Stations around the U.S., one of them in Pittsburgh. Additional funding for the Pittsburgh supersite was provided by DOE for sampling major sources. The monitoring program here operated from July 1, 2001 to September 30, 2002. Besides baseline sampling conducted continuously over the 15-month period, there were two intensive sampling runs during July 2001 and January 2002. More than 30 samplers were used during baseline and intensive sampling to obtain data for various aerosol and gaseous chemical species. Instrumentation included time-integrated monitors, such as filters that sampled for later chemical analysis, as well as continuous and semi-continuous monitors to capture short-term variability in concentrations. Results in a few categories of sampling are presented in this seminar. First, we will explore the relative importance of local sources versus long-range transport influencing PM2.5 concentrations in Pittsburgh (PM2.5 = particulate matter with diameters less than 2.5 micrometers). Then we will compare continuous and time-integrated data, investigating what we can learn from highly time-resolved information. Finally, we will consider the chemical composition of aerosols in Pittsburgh. We will explore what this information can tell us about developing control strategies to reduce PM2.5 concentrations.