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Multi variate analysis of particulate sulfate and other air quality variables by principal components 1. annual data from los angeles california and new york city new york usa



Multi variate analysis of particulate sulfate and other air quality variables by principal components 1. annual data from los angeles california and new york city new york usa



Atmospheric Environment 13(11): 1581-1596



A multivariate statistical analysis of particulate sulfate, meteorological and air quality data is presented for the Los Angeles and New York City areas. The particulate data are from the Community Health Air Monitoring Program (CHAMP). Other aerometric parameters gathered at nearby sites were assembled with the particulate data to produce a comprehensive data set. The highly intercorrelated nature of many of the variables, e.g., oxidant and maximum temperature, can make the results of ordinary regression techniques uncertain. The application of principal component analysis (PCA) to the data set (not including sulfate) produces statistically independent linear combinations of the original variables. The sulfate values are regressed on these independent parameters. Only 3 components are necessary to account for 50% of the variability of all the variables. These components can be interpreted physically as indicative of the balance of influences of photochemical and other chemical processes, SO2 sources and atmospheric dispersion and transport. In southern California, the PCA indicates that ambient SO2 and dispersion factors are unimportant in explaining sulfate variability. Factors associated with photochemical activity and atmospheric moisture content account for more than half the sulfate variation. This agrees with previous analyses of Los Angeles data. In New York a similar photochemical component is found. Dispersion and SO2 concentration are important in explaining sulfate variability. A method is derived which relates regression coefficients of sulfate, SO2 regression to apparent, 1st order transformation rates of SO2 to sulfate. Maximum apparent transformation rates in Los Angeles are in the range of 4-10% h, but are about 10 times smaller in New York.

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