Spatial and temporal resolution of primary and secondary particulate
matter in Houston during DISCOVER-AQ
This projects builds on a previously-funded AQRP project tasked at the initial elemental carbon (EC), organic carbon (OC), and optical black carbon (BC) characterization of particulate matter (PM) at Moody Tower and Manvel Croix during DISCOVER-AQ Houston Texas 2013 (AQRP 12-032). Under the original framework of PIs Sheesley and Usenko's AQRP ECOC Project, samples were to be collected over the entire DISCOVER-AQ sampling period at two primary sites in Houston: Moody Tower (urban) and Manvel Croix (southern suburb). Collaborations developed during the early stages of this project increased the sampling intensity at the two primary sites and expanded PM sampling efforts to Conroe (far north suburb) and La Porte (urban industrial).
The overall goals of this project are to analyze the filter samples collected in the previous project and to quantify the strength of PM formation and PM emission sources, including shipping emissions, motor vehicle exhaust, biomass burning and biogenic emissions, across the Houston metropolitan area. This work builds on the strengths of DISCOVER-AQ, specifically the spatial and temporal sampling strategies (i.e. multiple ground-based sites sampled for approximately 28 days). These strategies allows for the examination of both regional and long-range transport as well as anthropogenic and biogenic influences on air quality. The project will characterize PM through the quantification of water-soluble OC, organic tracers, EC, OC, 14C, select inorganic ions, and elemental tracers from PM filters collected from four DISCOVER-AQ anchor sites including Moody Tower, Manvel Croix, Conroe, and La Porte. PIs will apply a combination of radiocarbon source apportionment of organic and elemental carbon with source-specific organic and inorganic molecular tracers to tightly constrain urban and regional, fossil and biomass burning/biogenic sources.