Zeng, T, Wang, YH, Yoshida, Y, Tian, D, Russell, AG, Barnard, WR (2008). Impacts of Prescribed Fires on Air Quality over the Southeastern United States in Spring Based on Modeling and Ground/Satellite Measurements. ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY, 42(22), 8401-8406.
Prescribed burning is a large aerosol source in the southeastern United States. Its air quality impact is investigated using 3-D model simulations and analysis of ground and satellite observations. Fire emissions for 2002 are calculated based on a recently developed VISTAS emission inventory. March was selected for the investigation because it is the most active prescribed fire month. Inclusion of fire emissions significantly improved model performance. Model results show that prescribed fire emissions lead to similar to 50% enhancements of mean OC and EC concentrations in the Southeast and a daily increase of PM2.5 up to 25 mu g m(-3), indicating that fire emissions can lead to PM2.5 nonattainment in affected regions. Surface enhancements of CO up to 200 ppbv are found. Fire count measurements from the moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) onboard the NASA Terra satellite show large springtime burning in most states, which is consistent with the emission inventory. These measurements also indicate that the inventory may underestimate fire emissions in the summer.