Water, Air, & Soil Pollution

, 224:1674

First online:

Analysis of NO, NO2, and O3 Between Model Simulations and Ground-Based, Aircraft, and Satellite Observations

  • Burcak KaynakAffiliated withSchool of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of TechnologySchool of Civil Engineering, Department of Environmental Engineering, Istanbul Technical University Email author 
  • , Yongtao HuAffiliated withSchool of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • , Armistead G. RussellAffiliated withSchool of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology

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Regional air quality model simulations with Community Multiscale Air Quality Modeling System (CMAQ) were evaluated using multiple platforms for a 2-month summer period. In this context, inter-comparisons of the model with available satellite-based observations of NO2, ground- and aircraft-based observations of NO, NO2, NO x , NO y , and O3 were performed. NO2 comparisons found low biases in CMAQ results when using both ground- and satellite-based observations. Aircraft-based observations, on the other hand, indicated a higher positive bias and error, but the overall NO2 vertical profile was captured well by the model. The highest correlation was observed with satellite-based NO2 observations indicating that the model and satellite found similar spatial gradients. NO concentrations were underestimated in comparison with both ground- and aircraft-based observations, especially near the surface, indicating the limitations of the model to simulate primary pollutant concentrations at point observations when there are sources nearby. NO y comparisons found positive biases in the model when using both ground- and aircraft-based observations. The main reason for this overestimation was the consistent overestimation of peroxyacyl nitrates (PANs) in CMAQ results. Modeled O3 concentrations compared well with lowest biases and errors when compared to aircraft- and ground-based observations. The O3 vertical profile indicated a small positive bias in the model results near the surface similar to the comparison with ground-based observations. However, a negative bias in the model was observed above 2 km. Comparison with aircraft-based observations revealed significant overestimations in PAN and OH concentrations. Overestimation of the modeled OH concentrations is particularly important considering the effect of OH in atmospheric reactions.


Aircraft-based observations Community Multiscale Air Quality Modeling System CMAQ Ozone Nitrogen oxides Hydroxyl radical Peroxyacyl nitrates