Contributions of regional transport and local sources to ozone exceedances in Houston and Dallas: Comparison of results from a photochemical grid model to aircraft and surface measurements



[1] During the 2000 Texas Air Quality Study (TexAQS) and 2006 Texas Air Quality Study (TexAQS II) field experiments, aircraft measured ozone concentrations upwind, across, and downwind of the Houston and Dallas urban areas. Background ozone transported into Houston contributed, on average, approximately 50% and 66% of the total ozone on 8-h ozone exceedance days investigated by aircraft flights during TexAQS and TexAQS II, respectively. Analysis of a flight over Dallas on one exceedance day showed that transported ozone constituted 72% of the total ozone concentration. The aircraft measurements show that these two major metropolitan areas can be brought close to exceeding the 1997 8-h National Ambient Air Quality Standard for ozone of 0.08 ppm solely by the ozone contribution of regional transport before additional contribution from local sources. Large local contributions were also observed, particularly in Houston. Transport contributions to Dallas area ozone were quantified using the Comprehensive Air Quality Model with Extensions (CAMx) photochemical grid model and source apportionment methods. Model-predicted ozone concentrations were compared to ozone measurements from the aircraft and the surface monitoring network, and showed agreement on the importance of regional transport and local ozone formation. These results emphasize the benefits of regional control strategies, and suggest that local controls alone may not be sufficient to ensure attainment of the 8-h ozone standard in Houston and Dallas.