An Overview of the Summer 2014 Airborne Study of Oil Sands Air Pollutants in Support of the Joint Oil Sands Monitoring Plan

Monday, 15 December 2014
Shao-Meng Li1, Katherine Lynne Hayden1, Stewart Cober1, Mengistu Wolde2, John Liggio1, Peter Liu1, Amy Leithead1, Jason O'brien1, Daniel K Wang3, Samar G. Moussa1, Mark Gordon1, Andrea L Darlington1, Robert McLaren4, Paul Makar1, Craig Stroud1, Jeremy J B Wentzell1, Jeff Brook1, Julie Narayan1, Andrew Elford1, Ka Sung1 and Andrew Sheppard1, (1)Environment Canada, Toronto, ON, Canada, (2)Institute of Aerospace Research, Ottawa, ON, Canada, (3)Environment Canada Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada, (4)York University, Toronto, ON, Canada
A short term airborne study of oil sands air pollutants was carried out in August and September 2013. The study had three objectives: 1. to validate emissions of criteria air contaminants (CACs) and other air pollutants from surface mining facilities in the Athabasca oil sands region, using airborne ambient air measurements; 2. to understand the transport and transformation of primary pollutants; and 3. to provide data for model and satellite retrieval validation. The data will be used for the evaluation and improvement of high-resolution air quality models for eventual application in determining the fates of these pollutants and their deposition to the downwind ecosystems. Various chemical species were measured from the National Research Council of Canada Convair-580 aircraft at high time resolution of 1-10 seconds. A total of 22 flights were flown, with 14 flights dedicated to emission validation, 5 flights to transport and transformation of oil sands pollutants, and 5 flights to satellite data validation. An algorithm will be shown to demonstrate how the data from the emission flights can be used to derive a top-down estimate of SO2 emission rates.