Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Master's Report

Degree Name

Master of Science in Geology (MS)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences

Advisor 1

Louisa Kramer

Committee Member 1

Paul Doskey

Committee Member 2

Claudio Mazzoleni

Committee Member 3

Simon Carn


Nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOC) are major contributors to air quality, especially for their direct involvement in ozone (O3) production. Retrievals of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and formaldehyde (HCHO) mixing ratios can be used to represent NOx and VOCs respectively and the formaldehyde-to-NO2 ratio (FNR) can be used to analyze the O3 production chemistry in a region. Since the current monitoring network in the Great Lakes region for NO2 and HCHO is limited, the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) can be used to retrieve vertical column densities for NO2 and HCHO in rural areas away from ground-based sensors. OMI was found to be sensitive to temporal changes in ground mixing ratios and suitable for this study. OMI was able to retrieve statistically significant gradients for NO2 and FNR but not HCHO between urban centers and rural areas in the Great Lakes region. Data from OMI was used to determine regions of VOC-limited O3 production and NOx-limited O3 production. FNR values are highest in rural areas and during the summer months.