Background air quality Sandalta trailer May 1983 to March 1984

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  • The results of a baseline air quality and meteorological data collection program at a site in the Athabasca oil sands region, 65 km north of Fort McMurray, Alberta are presented. Sulphur dioxide, ozone, nitric oxide, nitrogen dioxide and meteorological parameters were monitored from May 1983 through March 1984, inclusive. Sulphur dioxide concentrations averaged 3 ppbv over the study period. Mean ozone concentrations averaged about 27 ppbv. Nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide concentrations averaged 0.6 ppbv and 1 ppbv, respectively. The prevailing wind direction was southerly, parallel to the Athabasca River. The fraction of the total pollutants arriving from each direction was similar to the overall wind rose. However, the average pollutant concentrations varied only weakly with wind direction. Two events were examined in detail. In one case, the air was transported from the Peace River region over the Oil Sands region. Sharp increases in pollutant concentrations were monitored as vertical mixing developed in the late morning hours. In the second case, the air mass source region was in the Northwest Territories and relatively low pollutant concentrations were recorded.

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