Investigation of temporal and spatial correlations between citizen science odor reports and gas measurements from open-path UV-DOAS

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Conference Proceeding

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© 2019 Air and Waste Management Association. All rights reserved. The combination of highly time resolved and speciated gas data collected by the UV DOAS creates opportunities for better assignment of smell reports to potential sources. This differs from traditional monitoring systems that often report data with a sampling at a frequency of 60 min or longer and fewer gases are measured. The dynamic nature of plumes from industrial sources makes it difficult to correlate smell or monitor data with wind direction in a meaningful way. The data from this event shows that two different plumes may be involved. For the time period during this study, one timeframe has SO2 only associated with a west wind, and another SO2 event has some Hydrocarbon absorbance with it, which seems to be coming from the South. Since the raw spectral data is saved, post reprocessing can be performed with potential new gases that were not anticipated in the study. The data from this study support this, as we see some hydrocarbons that are not BTEX. In this case the absorption does not pinpoint any gas, since it is a broadband feature common to many conjugated organic compounds, but we can still use this info to compare to wind and other gas data to single out potential sources. In conclusion the use of smartphones and the development of software Apps have given the community the ability to record receptor data with an unprecedented scale and detail. This dataset includes events on all time scales and in every place that people may go. Traditional existing monitoring networks can be leveraged to determine likely sources to assign potential sources to the smell complaints. With UV DOAS we can increase gas species and temporal resolution to help improve this process. Smells, wind directions and peoples’ locations are all changing on a faster time scale than the existing monitors. We have used an event in Pittsburgh, PA to illustrate some of the advantages to having a UV DOAS help assign smells to events. This work shows synergies that will help identify potential air pollution sources.

Publication Title

AQM 2019 - Air Quality Measurement Methods and Technology Conference 2019

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