Modeling visibility in the Paso del Norte (PDN) Region

Richard Medina Calderon, University of Texas at El Paso


Poor visibility is a subject of growing public concern throughout the U.S, and an active area of research. Its societal impacts on air quality, aviation transport and traffic are significant. Aerosols play a fundamental role in the attenuation of solar radiation, and also affect visibility. The scattering and extinction coefficients of aerosol particles in the Paso del Norte Region have been calculated using the T- matrix model in conjunction with a laser particle counter. Inter-comparison of the model's results of the scattering and absorption coefficients against the corresponding data from a Photoacustic extinctiometer instrument (which measures in-situ absorption and scattering coefficients of aerosol particles) shows excellent agreement. In addition, the volume-weighted method is used to determine the composite index of refraction which is representative of the aerosols for the Paso del Norte Region to obtain information of the type of aerosol particles present in the Region. The Single Scattering Albedo has also been retrieved using this methodology to obtain further insight into the type of aerosols present on a given day. Finally, the Koschmieder equation has been used to calculate the visual range or visibility, and was correlated with the PM2.5 and PM10 particle concentration present in the Region. Our methodology will allow a better understanding of the size and type of aerosol particles that are most detrimental to the visibility for the Paso Del Norte Region.^

Subject Area

Atmospheric Sciences|Computer Science

Recommended Citation

Medina Calderon, Richard, "Modeling visibility in the Paso del Norte (PDN) Region" (2013). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1539971.