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Project ID: 05-3-1-04

Year: 2005

Date Started: 06/16/2005

Date Completed: 08/03/2009

Title: Hybrid Source Apportionment Model: An Operational Tool to Distinguish Wildfires Emissions from Prescribed Fire Emissions to Measurements of PM 2.5 for Use in Visibility and PM Regulatory Programs

Project Proposal Abstract: Air quality regulations have the goal of reducing haze in national parks and wilderness areas to natural conditions, and require that fine particulate matter (PM2.5) be reduced below a threshold that adversely impacts health. The federally funded and managed IMPROVE and STN monitoring networks track the progress toward these goals. Carbonaceous material is often the largest contributor to haze and PM2.5, and semi-quantitative analyses suggest that smoke from fire-related activities is a significant contributor to this carbonaceous material. Fuel reduction activities mandated by the National Fire Plan along with on-going reductions in non-carbon pollutants will serve to further increase the relative contribution of carbonaceous material to PM2.5 and haze. This may lead to demands that managed fire activities reduce pollutant emissions. To develop meaningful control strategies, federal land managers and policy makers need tools to apportion daily measurements of PM2.5 at IMPROVE and STN sites to smoke from natural, e.g. wildfire, anthropogenic, e.g. some prescribed fire, and international fires, as well as mobile and industrial sources. Traditionally, source attribution tools use either air quality models, which attempt to simulate the contributions of sources based upon first principles, or source receptor models which apportion measured PM2.5 based upon measured marker species and their source profiles. Neither technique is adequate. Air quality models can apportion PM2.5 to all source types, but the results often include excessive errors due to limitations in model inputs and chemistry and dispersion mechanisms. Receptor models are constrained by measured data, bounding the estimates, but they cannot apportion mass to different fire types, e.g., wild and prescribed fire, and are limited in apportioning secondary aerosols. We propose to develop a new tool based on a hybrid source apportionment model (HSAM), which incorporates air quality modeling results into a new type of receptor model. HSAM will be capable of apportioning primary and secondary aerosols in measured PM2.5 to contributing source types, including different fire types, with associated uncertainties on a daily basis. HSAM will be thoroughly tested using data from the IMPROVE, STN, and other monitoring networks and results from multiple air quality modeling runs to assess HSAM capabilities and uncertainties. HSAM will then be applied to all IMPROVE and STN monitoring sites from 2002. Fully documented HSAM and 2002 apportionment results will be made available via the IMPROVE and VIEWS websites. Last, a workshop will be convened with modeling centers tasked with routine air quality modeling of smoke and PM2.5, such as the Forest Service?s BlueSky and FCAMMS, to facilitate the incorporation of HSAM into their programs. This project will provide land managers with tools to help them quantify the usefulness of emissions reduction techniques for application in Smoke Management Programs. This will ensure that fire managers are able to maintain the capability to use prescribed fire and quantify the effectiveness of emissions reduction techniques.

Principal Investigator: Bret A. Schichtel

Agency/Organization: NPS-National Park Service

Branch or Dept: CIRA-Colorado State University

Other Project Collaborators




Branch or Dept

Federal Cooperator

Bret A. Schichtel

NPS-National Park Service

CIRA-Colorado State University

Project Locations

Fire Science Exchange Network


There are no project locations identified for this project.

Project Deliverables

Final Report view or print

("Results presented in JFSP Final Reports may not have been peer-reviewed and should be interpreted as tentative until published in a peer-reviewed source.")

  ID Type Title
    3123 Journal Article Relative Contributions of Fossil and Contemporary Carbon Sources to PM 2.5 Aerosols at Nine Interagency Monitoring for Protection of Visual Environments (IMPROVE) Network Sites
    3124 Journal Article Fossil and Contemporary Fine Particulate Carbon Fractions at 12 Rural and Urban Sites in the United States
    5124 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Fossil vs. Contemporary Carbon at 12 Rural and Urban Sites in the United States
    6117 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Apportionment of Particulate Carbon into Fossil and Contemporary Fractions at 12 Rural and Urban Sites in the United States
    6118 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Contribution of Smoke to PM2.5 and Haze: Development of Smoke Source Profiles and Routine Source Apportionment Tools
    5710 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Application of Anion Exchange Chromatography with Pulsed Amperometric Detection for Measurement of Levoglucosan in Ambient Aerosol Samples

Supporting Documents

The following supporting documents are available for this project.

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