Rice University

Events at Rice

Lecture/Lecture Series

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Speaker: Ann Marie Carlton
Associate Professor
University of California, Irvine

CEVE Seminar Series 2017 -Aerosol Liquid Water: A Valentine to the Clean Air Act.

Friday, February 3, 2017
2:00 PM  to 3:00 PM

201  Ryon Engineering Building
Rice University
6100 Main St
Houston, Texas, USA

Water is a ubiquitous and abundant component of atmospheric particles. It influences light scattering, the hydrological cycle, atmospheric chemistry, and secondary formation of particulate matter (PM) in the atmosphere. Despite the critical importance of aerosol liquid water, actual mass concentrations are not well documented in the literature. Routine air quality networks that measure particle mass [e.g., the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Interagency Monitoring of Protected Visual Environments (IMPROVE)] and most particle measurement techniques [e.g., the aerosol mass spectrometer (AMS)] remove water and other semi volatile compounds during sampling and/or during filter equilibration. Using speciated ion and meteorological data we estimate water mass concentrations to better understand the geospatial patterns and historical trends of aerosol liquid water in the context of improved air quality and recently noted reductions in particulate organic carbon (OC) mass. We find a decrease in aerosol water mass concentrations that is correlated with decreasing organic particle mass, for which we can provide a plausible mechanistic explanation. These findings are consistent with the hypotheses that aerosol liquid water facilitates formation of biogenic secondary organic aerosol (SOA) and that biogenically derived SOA is modulated in the presence of anthropogenic perturbations. Decreasing aerosol liquid water mass can be explained, in part, by environmental regulations aimed at reducing sulfur emissions to alleviate environmental problems associated with acid rain and inorganic particle mass, suggesting the Clean Air Act is more successful than accounted for.

Biography of Ann Marie Carlton:
Ann Marie has a Bachelors from Rutgers’ School of Engineering, and masters and Ph.D. from Rutgers in New Brunswick. She was also born in New Brunswick and Jon Bon Jovi grew up in her town. Their brothers were altar boys together. Ann Marie worked as an engineer for 6 years for Region 2 of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in New York, New York before going to graduate school for a Ph.D. , and she is a licensed engineer in New Jersey. After her Ph.D. she worked for NOAA and EPA’s Office of Research and Development in Research Triangle Park, NC. Ann Marie is the scientific leader of the Southern oxidant and aerosol study “SOAS” that involved multiple government agencies, private companies, ~20 academic institutions. SOAS is modeled after the Southern Oxidant Study of the 1990s that re-defined air quality management for ozone and it is her ambition to redefine air quality management for particles.

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