Special Issue "Emissions, Transport and Fate of Pollutants in the Atmosphere"

A special issue of Atmosphere (ISSN 2073-4433). This special issue belongs to the section "Air Quality".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 May 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Hosein Foroutan
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, USA
Interests: atmospheric transport; multiscale atmospheric modeling; turbulence and turbulent flows; planetary boundary layer meteorology; air quality modeling; air pollution; chemical transport models; aerosols emissions and transport; air-surface exchange; atmospheric dust

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Air pollutants (including chemicals, pathogens, allergens, and toxics) go through many dynamical, physical, and chemical processes from emissions to deposition. Aerosols and gasses are released from various sources to the atmosphere, where they interact with the planetary boundary layer, radiation, and clouds. The transport and dispersion of pollutants may occur at various spatial and temporal scales before they are deposited back on land or water. There are still many scientific questions concerning multiscale and multiphysics phenomena that govern the emissions, transport, and fate of pollutants in the atmosphere.

This Special Issue is devoted to research that aims to improve our understanding of physical mechanisms controlling emissions, transport, and deposition of airborne pollutants, chemicals, pathogens, allergens, or toxics. We are especially interested in original research articles addressing the multiscale and multiphysics nature of these mechanisms. All theoretical, modeling, and observational studies are welcome. Some topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Air-surface exchange of pollutants
  • Emissions due to atmosphere and land/water interactions
  • Pollutants pathways in the atmosphere
  • Long-range transport
  • Wet/dry deposition processes

Dr. Hosein Foroutan
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Atmosphere is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Air-land and air-sea interactions
  • Pollutant and pathogen emissions
  • Turbulence and dispersion
  • Long-range transport
  • Multiscale air quality
  • Wet/dry deposition

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Pollution Transport Patterns Obtained Through Generalized Lagrangian Coherent Structures
Atmosphere 2020, 11(2), 168; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11020168 - 06 Feb 2020
Abstract
Identifying atmospheric transport pathways is important to understand the effects of pollutants on weather, climate, and human health. The atmospheric wind field is variable in space and time and contains complex patterns due to turbulent mixing. In such a highly unsteady flow field, [...] Read more.
Identifying atmospheric transport pathways is important to understand the effects of pollutants on weather, climate, and human health. The atmospheric wind field is variable in space and time and contains complex patterns due to turbulent mixing. In such a highly unsteady flow field, it can be challenging to predict material transport over a finite-time interval. Particle trajectories are often used to study how pollutants evolve in the atmosphere. Nevertheless, individual trajectories are sensitive to their initial conditions. Lagrangian Coherent Structures (LCSs) have been shown to form the template of fluid parcel motion in a fluid flow. LCSs can be characterized by special material surfaces that organize the parcel motion into ordered patterns. These key material surfaces form the core of fluid deformation patterns, such as saddle points, tangles, filaments, barriers, and pathways. Traditionally, the study of LCSs has looked at coherent structures derived from integrating the wind velocity field. It has been assumed that particles in the atmosphere will generally evolve with the wind. Recent work has begun to look at the motion of chemical species, such as water vapor, within atmospheric flows. By calculating the flux associated with each species, a new effective flux-based velocity field can be obtained for each species. This work analyzes generalized species-weighted coherent structures associated with various chemical species to find their patterns and pathways in the atmosphere, providing a new tool and language for the assessment of pollutant transport and patterns. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emissions, Transport and Fate of Pollutants in the Atmosphere)
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Open AccessArticle
Scavenging of Sub-Micron to Micron-Sized Microbial Aerosols during Simulated Rainfall
Atmosphere 2020, 11(1), 80; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11010080 - 09 Jan 2020
Abstract
The processes removing aerosols from the atmosphere during rainfall are generically referred to as scavenging. Scavenging influences aerosol distributions in the atmosphere, with consequent effects on cloud properties, radiative forcing, and human health. In this study, we investigated the below-cloud scavenging process, specifically [...] Read more.
The processes removing aerosols from the atmosphere during rainfall are generically referred to as scavenging. Scavenging influences aerosol distributions in the atmosphere, with consequent effects on cloud properties, radiative forcing, and human health. In this study, we investigated the below-cloud scavenging process, specifically focusing on the scavenging of 0.2 to 2 µm-sized microbial aerosols by populations of water drops with average diameters of 3.0 and 3.6 mm. Rainfall was simulated in convective boundary layer air masses by dispensing the water drops from a 55 m bridge and collecting them at ground level. Particles and microbial cells scavenged by the water drops were visualized, enumerated, and sized using scanning electron and epifluorescence microscopy. Aerosolized particles and DNA-containing microbial cells of 2 µm diameter were scavenged at efficiencies similar to those reported previously in empirical studies; however, the efficiencies derived for smaller aerosols were significantly higher (one to three orders of magnitude) than those predicted by microphysical modeling. Application of the derived scavenging efficiencies to cell data from rainfall implies that, on average, approximately 50 to 70% of the 1 µm microbial cells in the precipitation originated from within the cloud. Further study of submicron to micron-sized aerosol scavenging over a broader raindrop size distribution would improve fundamental understanding of the scavenging process and the capacity to estimate (bio)aerosol abundances in the source cloud through analysis of rainfall. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emissions, Transport and Fate of Pollutants in the Atmosphere)
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Open AccessArticle
A New Geochemical Method for Determining the Sources of Atmospheric Particles: A Case Study from Gannan, Northeast China
Atmosphere 2019, 10(10), 632; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10100632 - 20 Oct 2019
Abstract
The geochemical characteristics of atmospheric deposition can help trace the origin and assess the impacts of pollutants. Northeast China has always been a region seriously affected by sandstorms. This study aims to explain the potential source of sandstorms in Gannan County, Heilongjiang Provence, [...] Read more.
The geochemical characteristics of atmospheric deposition can help trace the origin and assess the impacts of pollutants. Northeast China has always been a region seriously affected by sandstorms. This study aims to explain the potential source of sandstorms in Gannan County, Heilongjiang Provence, by collecting dust and analyzing geochemistry in one year where there is no significant industrial or anthropogenic pollution. Input fluxes of deposition show that Zn and Mn were more prevalent (36.7 g·hm−2·a−1 and 77.93 g·hm−2·a−1, respectively) than other elements. The geochemical composition of atmospheric deposition samples from 17 collection points in Gannan County were determined with regard to 20 elements including nine heavy metals, two metalloids, three nonmetallic elements, a transition metal, and five other major elements. The discriminate function (DF) and chemical index of alteration (CIA) indices indicate that Gannan County (agricultural production area) and Harbin (densely inhabited district) have similar geochemical characteristics of dry deposition. The integration of Na/Al and Ca/Mg ratios with an air mass back-trajectories model shows effects from Russian dust sources (36.6%) and from the northwest desert of China (13.3%). The results will assist in developing strategies for reducing dry deposition pollution inputs to agricultural soils in the area and will effectively target policies to protect soils from long-term contaminant accumulation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emissions, Transport and Fate of Pollutants in the Atmosphere)
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Open AccessArticle
Virus-Like Particle Production in Atmospheric Eubacteria Isolates
Atmosphere 2019, 10(7), 417; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10070417 - 19 Jul 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Culturable eubacterial isolates were collected at various altitudes in Earth’s atmosphere, including ~1.5 m above ground in Tallahassee, FL, USA; ~10.0 m above sea level over the mid-Atlantic ridge (~15° N); ~20 km above ground over the continental United States; ~20 km above [...] Read more.
Culturable eubacterial isolates were collected at various altitudes in Earth’s atmosphere, including ~1.5 m above ground in Tallahassee, FL, USA; ~10.0 m above sea level over the mid-Atlantic ridge (~15° N); ~20 km above ground over the continental United States; ~20 km above sea level over the Pacific Ocean near southern California; and from the atmosphere of Carlsbad Cavern, Carlsbad Cavern National Park, NM, USA. Isolates were screened for the presence of inducible virus-like particles (VLP) through the use of mitomycin C and epifluorescent direct counts. We determined that 92.7% of the isolates carried inducible VLP counts in exposed versus non-exposed culture controls and that the relationship was statistically significant. Further statistical analyses revealed that the number of isolates that demonstrated VLP production did not vary among collection sites. These data demonstrate a high prevalence of VLP generation in isolates collected in the lower atmosphere and at extreme altitudes. They also show that species of eubacteria that are resistant to the rigors of atmospheric transport play a significant role in long-range atmospheric inter- and intra-continental dispersion of VLP and that long-range atmospheric transport of VLP may enhance rates of evolution at the microbial scale in receiving environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emissions, Transport and Fate of Pollutants in the Atmosphere)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Pollution Transport Patterns Obtained Through Generalized Lagrangian Coherent Structures
Authors: P.J. Nolan, H. Foroutan, and S.D. Ross
Abstract: Identifying atmospheric transport pathways is important to understand the effects of pollutants on weather, climate, and human health. The atmospheric wind field is variable in space and time and contains complex patterns due to turbulent mixing. In such a highly unsteady flow field, it can be challenging to predict material transport over a finite-time interval. Particle trajectories are often used to study how pollutants evolve in the atmosphere. Nevertheless, individual trajectories are sensitive to their initial conditions. Lagrangian Coherent Structures (LCSs) have been shown to form the template of fluid parcel motion in a fluid flow. LCSs can be characterized by special material surfaces that organize the parcel motion into ordered patterns. These key material surfaces form the core of fluid deformation patterns, such as saddle points, tangles, filaments, barriers and pathways. Traditionally the study of LCSs has looked at coherent structures derived from integrating the wind velocity field. It has been assumed that particles in the atmosphere will generally evolve with the wind. Recent work has begun to look at the motion of chemical species, such as water vapor, within atmospheric flows. By calculating the flux associated with a species, a new generalized velocity field can be obtained. This work looks at analyzing coherent structures associated with generalized velocity fields from chemical species in order to find their pathways in the atmosphere.

Title: Investigation of potential source regions of PM in Shenzhen, South China
Author: Jianjun He
Abstract: Understanding the potential source areas of pollutant is the key to scientific prevention and control of atmospheric pollution. Using mesoscale meteorological model WRF, atmospheric diffusion model FLEXPART, and pollutant emission inventory, this study investigated the potential source areas of PM2.5 in Shenzhen during 2013 to 2017 by combining the contribution of air mass and emission inventory. WRF can well reproduce meteorological fields in Shenzhen and surrounding areas, which is very important for the accuracy of potential source areas. Eight major backward trajectories were determined by cluster analysis. The contribution rates of local and surrounding cities to receptor (Shenzhen urban) were calculated. Atmospheric circulation was classified by an objective weather classification method. The difference of the potential source areas in different seasons and different atmospheric circulation types were also provided. The research results will help to deepen the understanding of the causes of air pollution in Shenzhen.

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