Source apportionment of visual impairment during the California regional PM10/PM2.5 air quality study Academic Article uri icon


  • Gases and particulate matter predictions from the UCD/CIT air quality model were used in a visibility model to predict source contributions to visual impairment in the San Joaquin Valley (SJV), the southern portion of California's Central Valley, during December 2000 and January 2001. Within the SJV, daytime (0800-1700 PST) light extinction was dominated by scattering associated with airborne particles. Measured daytime particle scattering coefficients were compared to predicted values at approximately 40 locations across the SJV after correction for the increased temperature and decreased relative humidity produced by "smart heaters" placed upstream of nephelometers. Mean fractional bias and mean fractional error were -0.22 and 0.65, respectively, indicating reasonable agreement between model predictions and measurements. Particulate water, nitrate, organic matter, and ammonium were the major particulate species contributing to light scattering in the SJV. Daytime light extinction in the SJV averaged between December 25, 2000 and January 7, 2001 was mainly associated with animal ammonia sources (28%), diesel engines (18%), catalyst gasoline engines (9%), other anthropogenic sources (9%), and wood smoke (7%) with initial and boundary conditions accounting for 13%. The source apportionment results from this study apply to wintertime conditions when airborne particulate matter concentrations are typically at their annual maximum. Further study would be required to quantify source contributions to light extinction in other seasons. 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Chen, J., Ying, Q. i., & Kleeman, M. J.

citation count

  • 10

complete list of authors

  • Chen, Jianjun||Ying, Qi||Kleeman, Michael J

publication date

  • December 2009