A Caltech Library Service

Acquisition of acid vapor and aerosol concentration data for use in dry deposition studies in the South Coast Air Basin

Solomon, Paul A. and Fall, Theresa and Salmon, Lynn and Lin, Philip and Vasquez, Frank and Cass, Glen R. (1988) Acquisition of acid vapor and aerosol concentration data for use in dry deposition studies in the South Coast Air Basin. Environmental Quality Laboratory Report, 25. California Institute of Technology , Pasadena, CA. (Unpublished)

PDF (Volume I) - Submitted Version
See Usage Policy.

PDF (Volume II) - Submitted Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


An atmospheric monitoring network was operated throughout the South Coast Air Basin in the greater Los Angeles area during the year 1986. The primary objective of this study was to measure the spatial and temporal concentration distributions of atmospheric gas phase and particulate phase acids and bases in support of the California Air Resources Board's dry deposition research program. Gaseous pollutants measured include HNO_3, HCl, HF, HBr, formic acid, acetic acid and ammonia. The chemical composition of the airborne particulate matter complex was examined in three size ranges: fine particles (less than 2.2 μm aerodynamic diameter, AD), PM_(10) (less than 10 μm AD) and total particles (no size discrimination). Upwind of the air basin at San Nicolas Island, gas phase acids concentrations are very low: averaging 0.3 μg m^(-3) (0.1 ppb) for HNO_3, 0.8 μg m^(-3) for HCl, 0.13 μg m^(-3) for HF, and 2.6 μg m^(-3) for formic acid. Annual average HN03 concentrations ranged from 3.1 μg m^(-3) (1.2 ppb) near the Southern California coast to 6.9 μg m^(-3) (2.7 ppb) at an inland site in the San Gabriel Mountains. HCl concentrations within the South Coast Air Basin averaged from 0.8 μg m^(-3) to 1.8 μg m^(-3) during the year 1986. Long-term average HF concentrations within the air basin are very low, in the range from 0.14 to 0.22 μg m^(-3) between monitoring sites. Long-term average formic acid concentrations are lowest near the coastline (5.0 μg m^(-3) at Hawthorne), with the highest average concentrations (10.7 μg m^(-3)) observed inland at Upland. Ammonia concentrations at low elevation within the South Coast Air Basin average from 2.1 μg m^(-3) to 4.4 μg m^(-3) at all sites except Rubidoux. Rubidoux is located directly downwind of a large ammonia source created by dairy farming and other agricultural activities in the Chino area. Ammonia concentrations at Rubidoux average 30 μg m^(-3) during 1986, a factor of approximately 10 higher than elsewhere in the air basin. Annual average PM_(10) mass concentrations within the South Coast Air Basin ranged from 47.0 μg m^(-3) along the coast to 87.4 μg m^(-3) at Rubidoux, the farthest inland monitoring site. Five major aerosol components (carbonaceous material, NO_3^-, SO_4^-, NH_4^+ and soil-related material) accounted for greater than 80% of the annual average PM_(10) mass concentration at all on-land monitoring stations. A peak 24-h average PM_(10) mass concentration of 299 μg m^(-3) was observed at Rubidoux during 1986. That value is a factor of 2 higher than the federal 24-h average PM_(10) concentration standard, and a factor of 6 higher than the State of California PM_(10) standard. More than 40% of the PM_(10) aerosol mass measured at Rubidoux during that peak day event consisted of aerosol nitrates plus ammonium ion. Reaction of gaseous nitric acid to form aerosol nitrates was a major contributor to the high PM_(10) concentrations observed in the Rubidoux area near Riverside, California.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Technical Report)
Additional Information:© 1988 Environmental Quality Laboratory. California Institute of Technology. We would like to thank John Cooper at NEA Incorporated for performing trace metal analysis by XRF and Bob Cary at Sunset Labs for the analysis of organic and elemental carbon. Betsy Andrews, Sandra Blumhorst, David Cole, Nancy Drehwing, Doug Gray, Mike Jones, Philip Lin, Harvey Liu, and Frank Vasquez of the California Institute of Technology assisted with the field experiments, laboratory analyses, and data base management aspects of the project. This manuscript was typed by Dixie Fiedler and Sandy Brooks. Nancy Tomer helped by preparing many of the illustrations that follow. Air monitoring sites were provided through the cooperation of the South Coast Air Quality Management District, the U.S. Forest Service, and the U.S. Navy. Special thanks is given to Mr. Jay Rosenthal, Mr. Carl Otten, Mr. Grady-Jim Roberts and Mr. Lloyd Willet for their assistance in transporting samples and operating the sampling site at San Nicolas Island. This work was funded principally by the State of California Air Resources Board (agreement no. A4-144-32). Lowell Ashbaugh was the contract monitor for this project, and his assistance is gratefully acknowledged. The PM_(10) measurements reported in this work were jointly funded by the California Air Resources Board, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the South Coast Air Quality Management District.
Group:Environmental Quality Laboratory
Funding AgencyGrant Number
California Air Resources BoardA4-144-32
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)UNSPECIFIED
South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD)UNSPECIFIED
Series Name:Environmental Quality Laboratory Report
Issue or Number:25
Record Number:CaltechEQL:EQL-R-25
Persistent URL:
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:25784
Deposited By: Imported from CaltechEQL
Deposited On:21 Dec 2009
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 03:09

Repository Staff Only: item control page