Source apportionment of visibility impairment using a three-dimensional source-oriented air quality model. Academic Article uri icon


  • A three-dimensional source-oriented Eulerian air quality model is developed that can predict source contributions to the visibility reduction. Particulate matter and precursor gases from 14 different sources (crustal material, paved road dust, diesel engines, meat cooking, noncatalyst-equipped gasoline engines, catalyst-equipped gasoline engines, high-sulfur fuel, sea salt, refrigerant losses, residential production, animals, soil and fertilizer application, other anthropogenic sources, and background sources) are tracked though a mathematical simulation of emission, chemical reaction, gas-to-particle conversion, transport, and deposition. A visibility model based on Mie theory is modified to use the calculated source contributions to airborne particulate matter size and composition as well as gas-phase pollutant concentrations to quantify total source contributions to visibility impairment. The combined air quality-visibility model is applied to predict source contributions to visibility reduction in southern California for a typical air pollution episode (September 23-25, 1996). The model successfully predicts a severe visibility reduction in the eastern portion of the South Coast Air Basin where the average daytime visibility is measured to be less than 10 km. In the relatively clean coastal portion of the domain, the model successfully predicts that the average daytime visibility is greater than 65 km. Transportation-related sources directly account for approximately 50% of the visibility reduction (diesel engines approximately 15-20%, catalyst-equipped gasoline engines approximately 10-20%, noncatalyst-equipped gasoline engines approximately 3-5%, crustal and paved road dust approximately 5%) in the region with the most severe visibility impairment. Ammonia emissions from animal sources account for approximately 10-15% of the visibility reduction.

published proceedings

  • Environ Sci Technol

author list (cited authors)

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

citation count

  • 35

complete list of authors

  • Ying, Qi||Mysliwiec, Mitchell||Kleeman, Michael J

publication date

  • February 2004