Using Ozone Lidar to Investigate Sources of High Ozone Concentrations in the Western United States
1 CIRES, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309, USA
2 NOAA/ESRL/CSD, Boulder CO 80305, USA
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Published online: 7 June 2016
We have used NOAA’s Tunable Optical Profiler for Aerosol and oZone (TOPAZ) ozone lidar to investigate the sources of high surface ozone concentrations in two different regions of the western United States (US): the Uintah Basin in northeast Utah and Clark County in southern Nevada, which includes the city of Las Vegas. The Uintah Basin is a booming oil and gas producing region that often suffers from very high wintertime ozone concentrations. Clark County experiences violations of the US ozone standard primarily in spring and early summer despite a lack of any major local pollution sources. TOPAZ lidar observations, in conjunction with surface in situ measurements and model results, provided strong evidence that the high wintertime ozone concentrations in the Uintah Basin are primarily driven by local emissions associated with oil and gas exploration, whereas the Clark County ozone exceedances are often caused by ozone-rich air that is transported from the lower stratosphere all the way down to the earth’s surface.
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