Regional-scale transport of air pollutants: impacts of Southern California emissions on Phoenix ground-level ozone concentrations
In this study, WRF-Chem is utilized at high resolution (1.333 km grid spacing for the innermost domain) to investigate impacts of southern California anthropogenic emissions (SoCal) on Phoenix ground-level ozone concentrations ([O[superscript 3]]) for a pair of recent exceedance episodes. First, WRF-Chem control simulations, based on the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 2005 National Emissions Inventories (NEI05), are conducted to evaluate model performance. Compared with surface observations of hourly ozone, CO, NO[superscript X], and wind fields, the control simulations reproduce observed variability well. Simulated [O[superscript 3]] are comparable with the previous studies in this region. Next, the relative contribution of SoCal and Arizona local anthropogenic emissions (AZ) to ozone exceedances within the Phoenix metropolitan area is investigated via a trio of sensitivity simulations: (1) SoCal emissions are excluded, with all other emissions as in Control; (2) AZ emissions are excluded with all other emissions as in Control; and (3) SoCal and AZ emissions are excluded (i.e., all anthropogenic emissions are eliminated) to account only for Biogenic emissions and lateral boundary inflow (BILB). Based on the USEPA NEI05, results for the selected events indicate the impacts of AZ emissions are dominant on daily maximum 8 h average (DMA8) [O[superscript 3]] in Phoenix. SoCal contributions to DMA8 [O[superscript 3]] for the Phoenix metropolitan area range from a few ppbv to over 30 ppbv (10–30 % relative to Control experiments). [O[superscript 3]] from SoCal and AZ emissions exhibit the expected diurnal characteristics that are determined by physical and photochemical processes, while BILB contributions to DMA8 [O[superscript 3]] in Phoenix also play a key role.