The Impact of Oil and Natural Gas Activity on Ozone Formation in the Colorado Front Range
Monday, 14 December 2015: 10:35
3010 (Moscone West)
The 2014 Front Range Air Pollution and Photochemistry Experiment (FRAPPE) was a ground-based and airborne field study designed to characterize and understand air quality in the Colorado Front Range, where National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) ozone levels are frequently exceeded during summertime. A primary goal of the study was to determine the factors controlling surface ozone in the Front Range. As part of the project, measurements of many trace gases were observed on board the NSF/NCAR C-130 by a suite of instrumentation, including the NCAR Trace Organic Gas Analyzer (TOGA), which made measurements of a set of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are crucial for characterizing emissions and photochemical processing in the Front Range, as well as the air transported into the region. During recent years, oil and natural gas (O&NG) activity in the Front Range has been growing rapidly. Ratios of observed aromatic hydrocarbons, butanes and pentanes demonstrate distinct fingerprinting that can be used to distinguish both between different types of O&NG activities and between O&NG extraction regions in the FRAPPE study region and beyond. Using the observed hydrocarbon data along with other trace gas observations, we will compare contributions of O&NG emissions to OH reactivities in different regions in the Front Range, and present box model results demonstrating the impact of O&NG activities on ozone formation.