Spatial trends in surface-based carbonaceous aerosol measurements during DISCOVER-AQ in Houston, TX.
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Ortiz, Stephanie M.
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Carbonaceous aerosol (both fine particulate matter (PM₂.₅) and total suspended particulate (TSP)) were collected during NASA’s DISCOVER-AQ (Deriving Information on Surface Conditions from Column and Vertically Resolved Observations Relevant to Air Quality) in Houston, TX during September 2013. Four ground-based sampling sites were chosen to represent the Houston metropolitan area: primary sites Moody Tower (downtown; urban) and Manvel Croix (southern; suburb) and supplementary sites Conroe (northern; suburb) and La Porte (east; near Houston Ship Channel). Samples were analyzed for organic carbon (OC), elemental carbon (EC) and water-soluble organic carbon (WSOC) ambient concentrations. On average, peak concentrations of OC, EC and WSOC occurred during the last week of the campaign, which coincided with peak ozone on September 25, 2013. Determining carbonaceous aerosol concentrations is fundamental in understanding urban air quality. Tracking spatial distributions of EC and WSOC is relevant to understand exposure and potential health impacts of PM₂.₅ to Houston.