Date of Award


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Engineering (MS)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering


Richard E Honrath


A non-hierarchical K-means algorithm is used to cluster 47 years (1960–2006) of 10-day HYSPLIT backward trajectories to the Pico Mountain (PM) observatory on a seasonal basis. The resulting cluster centers identify the major transport pathways and collectively comprise a long-term climatology of transport to the observatory. The transport climatology improves our ability to interpret the observations made there and our understanding of pollution source regions to the station and the central North Atlantic region. I determine which pathways dominate transport to the observatory and examine the impacts of these transport patterns on the O3, NOy, NOx, and CO measurements made there during 2001–2006. Transport from the U.S., Canada, and the Atlantic most frequently reaches the station, but Europe, east Africa, and the Pacific can also contribute significantly depending on the season. Transport from Canada was correlated with the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) in spring and winter, and transport from the Pacific was uncorrelated with the NAO. The highest CO and O3 are observed during spring. Summer is also characterized by high CO and O3 and the highest NOy and NOx of any season. Previous studies at the station attributed the summer time high CO and O3 to transport of boreal wildfire emissions (for 2002–2004), and boreal fires continued to affect the station during 2005 and 2006. The particle dispersion model FLEXPART was used to calculate anthropogenic and biomass-burning CO tracer values at the station in an attempt to identify the regions responsible for the high CO and O3 observations during spring and biomass-burning impacts in summer.