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Air pollution monitoring is a key component of the Western Air Quality Study. Surface and aloft observations of atmospheric chemical conditions are used to assess air quality, validate chemistry transport models, identify sources of air pollution, and investigate trends related to the introduction of new sources and/or mitigation strategies.

The WAQS compiled a list of the monitoring networks and special studies that we're using to evaluate the 2011 modeling platform. The CMAQ and CAMx modeling results are compared to the observations to determine the skill of the models in reproducing the observed local to regional atmospheric conditions. The observational data are also important diagnostic parameters that are used to identify model improvements. The tables and graphics below summarize that observations that we've collected for the WAQS.

2011 Air Quality Observations

Standard Federal Networks

NetworkTemporal ResolutionPollutantsData Source
AQSHourly, DailyO3, NO2, NOx, COEPA
FRM24-hour total every 3 daysPM2.5EPA
CSN24-hour average every 3 or 6 daysSO4,NO3,NH4,EC,OCEPA
IMPROVE24-hour average every 3 daysPM2.5,PM10,SO4,NO3,EC,OCVarious
NADPWeekly,DailySO4,NO3,NH4 wet deposition,HgEPA

Special Studies and Databases

StudyTemporal ResolutionTime PeriodVerticalPollutantsData SourceNotes
Upper Green River Winter Ozone Study (UGWOS)Hourly,DailyDec 2010 - Mar 2011Surface, tower, and sondesO3,NO,NOx,NMHC,THC,VOC species,CH4WY DEQ 
Uintah Basin Winter Ozone Study (UBWOS)    UT DEQ 
CDPHE 2011-2012 O3 Precursor StudyWeekly 3-hr morning samplesDec 2011SurfaceNMOC and Carbonyl speciesCDPHEDenver Camp and Platteville sites
CDPHE Garfield County O3 PrecursorsWeekly 24-hour totals2011SurfaceNMOC and Carbonyl speciesCDPHEBell-Melton, Parachute, Rifle, Brock, Rulison, Battlement Mesa, Roaring Fork/Carbondale sites
WY DEQ O3 PrecursorsHourly2011SurfaceCH4,NMHC,THCWY DEQ
BOA Tower VOCsHourlyFeb - Mar -201120 mVOC speciesNOAA NACHTT
BAO Tower O35-min and 1-hour average2011Surface and 300 mO3NOAA
Rural NV O31-hour averageJul - Dec 2011SurfaceO3UNR