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J Air Waste Manag Assoc. 2003 Jul;53(7):789-801.

Day-of-Week behavior of atmospheric ozone in three U.S. cities.

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Air Quality Division, Atmospheric and Environmental Research, Inc., San Ramon, California 94583, USA.


The weekly cycles of atmospheric ozone (O3) are of interest because they provide information about the response of O3 to changes in anthropogenic emissions from weekdays to weekends. The weekly behavior of O3 in Chicago, IL; Philadelphia, PA; and Atlanta, GA, is contrasted. In Chicago and Philadelphia, maximum 1-hr average O3 increases on weekends. In Atlanta, O3 builds up from Mondays to Fridays and declines during weekends. In all three areas, volatile organic compound (VOC)/nitrogen oxides (NOx) ratios are higher during weekends, resulting from greater than proportionate decreases in NOx relative to VOC emissions. The VOC/NOx ratios correlate with maximum 1-hr O3 concentrations in Chicago, a response consistent with a VOC-sensitive airshed. A weak correlation between O3 concentrations and VOC/NOx ratios in Philadelphia suggests the impact of transported O3, which is formed in upwind VOC-sensitive locations that may be hundreds of kilometers away. Ozone concentrations in Atlanta do not correlate with VOC/NOx ratios but with concentrations of NOx and total reactive nitrogen (NOy) carried over from the previous day. When data from 1986-1990 and 1995-1999 are compared, only small differences in the weekly behavior of O3 are observed in Chicago and Philadelphia. The day-of-week differences in O3 are amplified in the more recent period in Atlanta, a possible result of urban growth.

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