Modeling air quality during the California Regional PM10/PM2.5 Air Quality Study (CPRAQS) using the UCD/CIT source-oriented air quality model - Part III. Regional source apportionment of secondary and total airborne particulate matter Academic Article uri icon


  • A comprehensive air quality modeling project was carried out to simulate regional source contributions to secondary and total (=primary + secondary) airborne particle concentrations in California's Central Valley. A three-week stagnation episode lasting from December 15, 2000 to January 7, 2001, was chosen for study using the air quality and meteorological data collected during the California Regional PM10/PM2.5 Air Quality Study (CRPAQS). The UCD/CIT mechanistic air quality model was used with explicit decomposition of the gas phase reaction chemistry to track source contributions to secondary PM. Inert artificial tracers were used with an internal mixture representation to track source contributions to primary PM. Both primary and secondary source apportionment calculations were performed for 15 size fractions ranging from 0.01 to 10 m particle diameters. Primary and secondary source contributions were resolved for fugitive dust, road dust, diesel engines, catalyst equipped gasoline engines, non-catalyst equipped gasoline engines, wood burning, food cooking, high sulfur fuel combustion, and other anthropogenic sources. Diesel engines were identified as the largest source of secondary nitrate in central California during the study episode, accounting for approximately 40% of the total PM2.5 nitrate. Catalyst equipped gasoline engines were also significant, contributing approximately 20% of the total secondary PM2.5 nitrate. Agricultural sources were the dominant source of secondary ammonium ion. Sharp gradients of PM concentrations were predicted around major urban areas. The relative source contributions to PM2.5 from each source category in urban areas differ from those in rural areas, due to the dominance of primary OC in urban locations and secondary nitrate in the rural areas. The source contributions to ultra-fine particle mass PM0.1 also show clear urban/rural differences. Wood smoke was found to be the major source of PM0.1 in urban areas while motor vehicle sources were the major contributor of PM0.1 in rural areas, reflecting the influence from two major highways that transect the Valley. 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

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

citation count

  • 25

complete list of authors

  • Ying, Qi||Lu, Jin||Kleeman, Michael

publication date

  • January 2009