Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

 

Estimates for wet and dry removals' contribution to the residence time for atmospheric pollutants in the eastern United States Public Deposited

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  • The length of time that atmospheric pollutants released from low-level sources in the midwestern United States can expect to remain in the atmosphere is discussed. The pollution is assumed to be removed from the atmosphere by dry deposition and precipitation scavenging. Layer-average trajectories originating from Kansas City, Missouri are used to determine the Lagrangian probability of dry and wet conditions. The residence time of these pollutants is estimated based on parameterizations for the effective scavenging rates during wet and dry conditions. This investigation shows that, in summer, the probability that precipitation is being experienced by the pollutant is twice as great as the probability of precipitation at the origin of the pollution; this same ratio of probabilities is three in winter. Therefore, when precipitation scavenging is the more important removal mechanism, the statistics for the length of wet and dry periods at the source region overestimate the residence time by a factor of about two to three. By taking into consideration the Lagrangian probability of wet and dry periods, the relative importance of dry deposition and precipitation scavenging is discussed as a function of the wet and dry removal rates. It is seen that for a time- and vertical-average dry deposition velocity as large as 1 cm/sec, then dry deposition would normally be the bore important removal process for the meteorological conditions in the midwest to eastern United States. Estimates for the expected atmospheric lifetimes of aerosol particles and trace gases are reported as functions of dry deposition velocities and collection efficiencies (or washout ratios). For example, lead particles of mass mean diameter ~0.5 μm, should have a residence time ~8 days in winter, and ~3 days in summer, based on available data for the dry deposition velocity and washout ratio. In general, the residence time can be expected to be about twice as long during the summer season than the winter. The winter, monthly average distribution of pollutant mass is shown, based on the steady-state Gaussian approximation solution of the convective diffusion equation. The calculations are based on a statistical analysis of the 12 hourly positions of a series of trajectories. Thus, monthly average "diffusion" and removal are incorporated into the Gaussian model.
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