Determination of PM compositions and sources in the El Paso del Norte region using time-resolved integrated source and receptor models

Jose Humberto Garcia, University of Texas at El Paso


El Paso-Ciudad Juárez is a non-attainment area for particulate matter (PM), CO and ozone. PM is a general term that describes the existence of suspended particles with a primary or secondary origin. Respirable particles such as PM10 and PM2.5 (particles with an aerodynamic diameter equal to or less than 10 and 2.5 μm, respectively) that can adversely affect human health are of particular concern in the air basin. The purpose of this research is to characterize and analyze PM—particularly in its coarse (PM2.5–10) and fine (PM2.5) size fractions—and to identify its main sources in El Paso-Ciudad Juárez air basin. A special emphasis was done on the analysis of the PM spikes that occur in the Sunland Park area. ^ Data was collected from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) web site for PM and meteorological data. A second database that consists of fine and coarse PM mass concentrations for 36 elements collected in the winter 1999 at five locations throughout the El Paso-Ciudad Juárez air basin has been studied under the perspective of Multivariate Analysis (MA) techniques. Finally a third data set, obtained in the winter season 2002–2003 for the Sunland Park area, was analyzed to determine the elemental and major ion composition of PM and elemental and organic carbon contents of selected samples. ^ Absolute Principal Components Scores (APCS) analysis, Principal Components Analysis (PCA), and Redundancy Analysis (RDA) were applied to the 3-hr average (6–9 p.m.) Fine Phase I database that included carbon data. A burning activity related source, characterized mainly by Sb, Cl, and EC emissions coming from the south, had the highest percentage apportionment (∼68%) among all identified sources. The highest fine PM mass concentrations observed at Sunland Park City Yard (SPCY) and TCEQ UTEP monitoring sites were strongly associated with a source or sources located just to the south of the Anapra neighborhood, Ciudad Juárez. The PM10 peaks observed at Sunland Park were predominantly produced by re-suspended dust entrained by the local vehicle traffic during temperature inversions that minimized dispersion and aided transport to the SPCY site by drainage flows. ^ Principal conclusions from the application of PCA and Chemical Mass Balance (CMB) analyses to the 24-hr average wintertime 1999 fine PM and PM10 databases stated that: (1) a crustal cluster was manifested in all Mexican (Advanced Transformer, Mission, Club 20–30) and American (Chamizal, Sun Metro) sites; (2) other sources such as a non-ferrous smelter, an electroplating process, and the burning of fossil fuels were also identified; and (3) the source apportionments for the fine PM fraction indicated a geologic type source. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)^

Subject Area

Environmental Sciences|Engineering, Environmental

Recommended Citation

Garcia, Jose Humberto, "Determination of PM compositions and sources in the El Paso del Norte region using time-resolved integrated source and receptor models" (2004). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI3151885.