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Depositional Aspects of Pollutant Behavior in Fog


Waldman, Jed Michael (1986) Depositional Aspects of Pollutant Behavior in Fog. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/6K0F-E189.


Droplet deposition during fog is shown to play an important role in the removal of anthropogenic pollutants from the atmosphere. Relevant theoretical principles are reviewed, and a survey of previous investigations is made. Results of extensive field monitoring programs are presented, and characterizations of fog chemistry and deposition in several environments are reported.

The in-cloud scavenging of aerosols and soluble gases coupled with the small size of fog droplets are found to result in higher chemical concentrations in fogwater than in rainwater. In the urban regions of southern California and the southern San Joaquin Valley, fogwater chemistry is dominated by sulfate, nitrate, and ammonium ions, which are measured at millimolar levels. High fog- and cloudwater acidities (pH 2 to 4) are routinely found in the western Los Angeles basin where ammonia emissions are low. San Joaquin Valley fogwater samples are less acidic due to greater ammonia release from local sources.

The formation of fog is shown to accelerate deposition rates for water-scavenged atmospheric constituents. Surrogate-surface measurements made in the San Joaquin Valley indicate that major species were removed at rates 5 to 20 times greater during fogs compared to nonfoggy periods. During stagnation episodes, pollutant removal by ventilation of valley air requires at least 5 days, while the enhancement of deposition by fog formation leads to pollutant lifetimes on the order of 6-12 h. Thus, in an environment characterized by flat, open landscape and low wind speed, droplet sedimentation can be the dominant removal mechanism of pollutants during prolonged stagnation episodes with fog.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Environmental Engineering Science; Planetary Science
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Environmental Science and Engineering
Minor Option:Planetary Sciences
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Hoffmann, Michael R.
Thesis Committee:
  • Hoffmann, Michael R. (chair)
  • Shair, Fredrick H.
  • Morgan, James J.
  • Cass, Glen Rowan
  • Yung, Yuk L.
Defense Date:29 August 1985
Funding AgencyGrant Number
California Air Resources BoardUNSPECIFIED
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-03132008-095317
Persistent URL:
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription adapted for Chapter 4. adapted for Chapter 6.
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:944
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:14 Mar 2008
Last Modified:20 Dec 2019 19:55

Thesis Files

PDF (Waldman_jm_1986.pdf) - Final Version
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