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The relationship between sulfate air quality and visibility at Los Angeles

Cass, Glen R. (1976) The relationship between sulfate air quality and visibility at Los Angeles. Environmental Quality Laboratory Memorandum, 18. California Institute of Technology , Pasadena, CA. (Unpublished)

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Routine air monitoring data taken by the Los Angeles Air Pollution Control District are related to visibility at downtown Los Angeles over the decade 1965 through 1974. The relationship between light extinction and total suspended particulate mass implied by the historical data base is shown to be consistent with the findings of previous short-term studies. A non-linear regression model for light extinction at Los Angeles is constructed which combines available information on aerosol chemical composition with relative humidity and NO_2 data. It is shown that there is a pronounced increase in light scattering per unit sulfate solute mass on days of high relative humidity, as would be expected for a hygroscopic or deliquescent substance. Using the chemically resolved regression model, estimates are made of the long-run visibility impact of reducing sulfates to one half and to one quarter of their measured historic values on each past day of record. It is found that the effect of such a sulfate concentration reduction would have been manifested most clearly in a decline in the number of days per year with average visibility less than three miles. The number of days per year with average visibility less than ten miles would be little affected. One reason for the disproportionate impact of sulfates on the days of the worst visibility is found in the high positive correlation between sulfate mass concentration and relative humidity. High values of light scattering per unit sulfate mass thus occur on days of high sulfate mass concentration.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Technical Report)
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URLURL TypeDescription ItemOn the relationship between sulfate air quality and visibility with examples in Los Angeles
Additional Information:© 1976 Environmental Quality Laboratory. California Institute of Technology. This work has been supported by the Ford Foundation (Grant No. 740-0469), a grant to the author from Rockwell International, gifts to the Environmental Quality Laboratory, and by the California Air Resources Board (Contract No. AS-061-87). Thanks are due to the staff of the Metropolitan Zone of the Southern California Air Pollution Control District (formerly the Los Angeles Air Pollution Control District) for their cooperation and assistance in furnishing data for this analysis.
Group:Environmental Quality Laboratory
Funding AgencyGrant Number
California Air Resources BoardAS-061-87
Ford Foundation740-0469
Rockwell InternationalUNSPECIFIED
Environmental Quality LaboratoryUNSPECIFIED
Series Name:Environmental Quality Laboratory Memorandum
Issue or Number:18
Record Number:CaltechEQL:EQL-M-18
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Usage Policy:You are granted permission for individual, educational, research and non-commercial reproduction, distribution, display and performance of this work in any format.
ID Code:25767
Deposited By: Imported from CaltechEQL
Deposited On:14 Dec 2009
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 03:08

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