Partitioning of NOy and Implications for Ozone Formation in Western US Shale Plays

Tuesday, 15 December 2015: 16:40
3014 (Moscone West)
Chelsea R Thompson1, Steven J Sjostedt1, Jeff Peischl2,3, Thomas B Ryerson2, Kenneth C. Aikin2,3, Steven S Brown2, Jessica Gilman2,3, Joost A De Gouw2,3, John S Holloway2,3, Abigail Koss2,3, Brian M Lerner2,3, J A Neuman2,3, Patrick R Veres2,3, Carsten Warneke2,3 and Bin Yuan2,3, (1)CIRES, Boulder, CO, United States, (2)NOAA, Earth System Research Laboratory, Boulder, CO, United States, (3)Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, Boulder, CO, United States
Air quality and ozone production within regions of oil and gas development has been a topic of intense research in recent years, due in part to the proliferation of domestic energy production from tight sands and shale formations. The Uintah and the Upper Green River Basins, for example, have been identified as regions with severe air pollution resulting from emissions associated with energy development. In the troposphere, ozone is produced photochemically from NOx (NO + NO2) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), where the ozone production efficiency is controlled by both the absolute levels of these species and their relative abundances. NO, NO2, NOy and O3 were measured in conjunction with a full suite of atmospheric VOCs, methane, CO, and peroxy acyl nitrates from an instrumented aircraft in March and April of 2015 during the NOAA Shale Oil and Natural Gas Nexus (SONGNEX) campaign, which targeted emissions and photochemistry within the major shale plays in the Western United States. Here, we examine the reactive nitrogen budgets and NOy partitioning in the studied shale plays with particular emphasis on comparing those basins in close proximity to urban centers (e.g., Denver Julesburg, Barnett) to the more rural sites. The impacts of urban outflow intermixed with adjacent oil and gas emissions will be discussed in terms of ozone production and air quality.