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

Utah residents rank air pollution as No. 1 threat to quality of life

January 27th, 2015

It's not crime, not crowded highways or even crowded classrooms that concern Utah residents the most and pose the greatest threat to their quality of[...]

What YOU Can Do About The Inversion

January 26th, 2015

Kerry Kelly from the University of Utah wants you to know that there are actions you can take to help clear Utah's air!  For the [...]

Uneasy breathing: Leaders searching for air clearing solutions

January 26th, 2015

The Salt Lake Valley enjoyed a brief respite from oppressive winter inversion Tuesday, academic and government leaders did not breathe easy, leading events in various[...]

Sandy May be Testing Ground for New Waste-to-Energy Facility

January 23rd, 2015

A new company has a proposal to turn Sandy city's household trash into electric energy. If approved, it would be the first facility of its[...]

View all news stories


Meteorology of winter inversions in the Salt Lake Valley and in the Bingham Copper Mine @ 210 ASB
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.

Seminar by Bryce Bird, Director of the Divison of Air Quality @ 210 ASB, University of Utah
Feb 24 @ 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
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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