Welcome to the Program for Air Quality, Health, and Society

Slide 1

View of Salt Lake City from Twin Peaks during an inversion, January 21, 2013 when PM2.5 concentrations in Salt Lake City were approximately 45 ug/m3 (NAAQS is 35 ug/m3). Photo by K. Kelly.

Slide 2

Between January 1–24, 2013, Salt Lake City’s Hawthorne monitoring station exceeded fine particulate air quality standards on 15 days. This is based on available DAQ data as of February 15, 2013. Photo by K. Kelly.

Slide 3

Soot contributes approximately 10% to fine particulate matter concentrations during inversions along the Wasatch Front. Transmission emission microscopy image of a soot particle from P. Toth.

Air Quality in the News

Trax cars to become moble pollution testers

December 16th, 2014

(KUTV) Trax cars are being outfitted with weather instruments and devices to test pollution in the Salt Lake Valley air. It's a partnership between UTA[...]

Health board hears public input on proposed wood-burning ban

December 12th, 2014

The Salt Lake County Board of Health held a hearing Thursday night to allow the public to comment on a proposed regulation that would outlaw[...]

Hold your breath: efforts to improve air quality still in early stages

December 10th, 2014

Air quality in Cache Valley was recorded in recent years as some of the worst in the nation, and the season for that bad air[...]

Much of Utah likely to violate proposed lower ozone standards

December 7th, 2014

Much of the Intermountain West is likely to blow past lower, more stringent limits on ground-level ozone proposed by the Obama Administration. The U.S. Environmental[...]

View all news stories


Air Quality in Utah: Science for Solutions @ University Guesthouse, Douglas Ballroom
Jan 13 @ 8:00 am – 2:30 pm

For more details, click here.

Meteorology of winter inversions in the Salt Lake Valley and in the Bingham Copper Mine @ FASB 295
Feb 10 @ 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

BY: C. David Whiteman
Department of Atmospheric Sciences
University of Utah

The meteorology and climatology of persistent winter inversions in the Salt Lake Valley are summarized using 40 years of meteorological and air quality data, and a new method of evaluating the particulate contribution from contemporaneous inversions in the Bingham Canyon Mine is described and evaluated.

This presentation will highlight results from a climatological investigation of meteorological effects on persistent wintertime inversions or cold-air pools in the Salt Lake Valley using 40 years of historical data. The talk will answer common questions such as: How frequently do these epsiodes occur? What meteorological conditions lead to them? How long do they last? Have inversions gotten worse over the last 40 years? How deep are the valley aerosol layers? Are there places in the valley where particulate concentrations are lower? This description of winter inversions in the Salt Lake Valley will be followed by a description of the meteorology affecting contemporaneous inversions in the Bingham Copper Mine. Meteorological effects there produce a more regular ventilation of aerosols than we experience in the Salt Lake Valley. Our meteorological investigations in the open-pit mine have led us to a new method that, with additional data, may prove useful for estimating particulate ventilation from the mine. This method will be described.

Short Bio:
Dr. Whiteman has been a Research Professor in the Atmospheric Sciences Department of the University of Utah since 2005. He specializes in mountain meteorology, and has made many contributions to the understanding of thermally driven flows and temperature inversions in valleys and basins. He is the author of Mountain Meteorology: Fundamentals and Applications, published by Oxford University Press, and is a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society. Dr. Whiteman has held visiting scientist and professor appointments at a number of Alpine universities.

Air Quality: Health, Energy, and Economics
Mar 5 @ 8:00 am – Mar 6 @ 4:00 pm

20th Annual Stegner Symposium.  For additional information, click here.

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