Date of Award

Winter 2011

Project Type


Program or Major

Earth and Environmental Sciences

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

First Advisor

Robert W Talbot


The purpose of this dissertation was to examine the influence of meteorology on ozone (O3) magnitudes and variations over the past decade in the New England area. The major results are summarized as follows. First, the highest O3 episodes were driven by multi-scale processes, and the regional/local scale processes controlled the magnitude and timing of the local pollution episodes. For instance, the highest episode on 14 August 2002 at Thompson Farm (TF) was under a stagnant synoptic high-pressure which resulted in accumulation of pollutants in the boundary layer. Ozone mixing ratios in the 2002 episode showed continual high values (>100 ppbv) at the beginning of the episode, and reached 151 ppbv on August 14. At the same time, the mesoscale low-level-jet (LLJ) played an important role in transporting air masses from the polluted Mid-Atlantic areas to the Northeast. Local land-sea-breeze circulations also added to the impact on this episode. Another highest O 3 event on 22 July 2004 at Castle Springs (CS) was driven by two mechanisms, stratospheric intrusion and the Appalachian lee trough (APLT), which was not found during other O3 episodes at the site in the decade long data record. Second, decadal O3 trends revealed that daytime O 3 mixing ratios increased by ∼0.9 ppbv per year in spring and by ∼0.8 ppbv per year in winter, while it decreased by ∼0.2 ppbv per year in summer. The increasing O3 values in spring and winter coincided with warmer temperatures which increased +2.8 (°F/decade) in spring and +0.6 (°F/decade) in winter in New Hampshire (NH). Furthermore, trends in low-, medium-, and the daily maximum of O3 were increasing in both spring and winter with rates between 0.3 to 1.1 ppb per year. Summertime O3 trends either decreased or did not have significant changes. The decreasing summer O3 trends coincided with a weakening of the Bermuda High. Overall, average O3 exhibited higher O3 mixing ratios in spring than in other seasons. However, the highest episodes occurred in summer. Average diurnal patterns indicated that O3 was reduced to its lowest mixing ratios in summer during nighttime, with the strongest O 3 depletion in September.