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Title: A Distributed Network of 100 Black Carbon Sensors for 100 Days of Air Quality Monitoring in West Oakland, California

Abstract

Ambient particulate matter (PM) pollution is a significant environmental health risk in urban areas. Dense networks of low-cost air quality sensors are emerging to characterize the spatially heterogeneous concentrations that are typical of urban settings, but are not adequately captured using traditional regulatory monitors at central sites. Here, we present the 100×100 BC Network, a 100-day deployment of low-cost black carbon (BC) sensors across 100 locations in West Oakland, California. This 15 km2 community is surrounded by freeways and affected by emissions associated with local port and industrial activities. We assess the reliability of the sensor hardware and data collection systems, and identify modes of failure to both quantify and qualify network performance. We show how dynamic, local emission sources build upon background BC concentrations. BC concentrations varied sharply over short distances (~100 m) and timespans (~1 hour), depending on surrounding land use, traffic patterns, and downwind distance from pollution sources. Strong BC concentration fluctuations were periodically observed over the diurnal and weekly cycles, reflecting the impact of localized traffic emissions and industrial facilities in the neighborhood. Overall, the results demonstrate how distributed sensor networks can reveal the complex spatiotemporal dynamics of combustion-related air pollution within urban neighborhoods.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [2]; ORCiD logo [3];  [3]
  1. Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, California 94720, United States, Energy Technologies Area, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California 94720, United States
  2. Energy Technologies Area, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California 94720, United States
  3. Energy Technologies Area, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California 94720, United States, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, California 94720, United States
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Environment, Health, Safety and Security (AU); National Science Foundation (NSF)
OSTI Identifier:
1527200
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1530719
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-05CH11231
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Environmental Science and Technology
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Environmental Science and Technology Journal Volume: 53 Journal Issue: 13; Journal ID: ISSN 0013-936X
Publisher:
American Chemical Society
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES

Citation Formats

Caubel, Julien J., Cados, Troy E., Preble, Chelsea V., and Kirchstetter, Thomas W. A Distributed Network of 100 Black Carbon Sensors for 100 Days of Air Quality Monitoring in West Oakland, California. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1021/acs.est.9b00282.
Caubel, Julien J., Cados, Troy E., Preble, Chelsea V., & Kirchstetter, Thomas W. A Distributed Network of 100 Black Carbon Sensors for 100 Days of Air Quality Monitoring in West Oakland, California. United States. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.9b00282
Caubel, Julien J., Cados, Troy E., Preble, Chelsea V., and Kirchstetter, Thomas W. Tue . "A Distributed Network of 100 Black Carbon Sensors for 100 Days of Air Quality Monitoring in West Oakland, California". United States. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.9b00282.
@article{osti_1527200,
title = {A Distributed Network of 100 Black Carbon Sensors for 100 Days of Air Quality Monitoring in West Oakland, California},
author = {Caubel, Julien J. and Cados, Troy E. and Preble, Chelsea V. and Kirchstetter, Thomas W.},
abstractNote = {Ambient particulate matter (PM) pollution is a significant environmental health risk in urban areas. Dense networks of low-cost air quality sensors are emerging to characterize the spatially heterogeneous concentrations that are typical of urban settings, but are not adequately captured using traditional regulatory monitors at central sites. Here, we present the 100×100 BC Network, a 100-day deployment of low-cost black carbon (BC) sensors across 100 locations in West Oakland, California. This 15 km2 community is surrounded by freeways and affected by emissions associated with local port and industrial activities. We assess the reliability of the sensor hardware and data collection systems, and identify modes of failure to both quantify and qualify network performance. We show how dynamic, local emission sources build upon background BC concentrations. BC concentrations varied sharply over short distances (~100 m) and timespans (~1 hour), depending on surrounding land use, traffic patterns, and downwind distance from pollution sources. Strong BC concentration fluctuations were periodically observed over the diurnal and weekly cycles, reflecting the impact of localized traffic emissions and industrial facilities in the neighborhood. Overall, the results demonstrate how distributed sensor networks can reveal the complex spatiotemporal dynamics of combustion-related air pollution within urban neighborhoods.},
doi = {10.1021/acs.est.9b00282},
journal = {Environmental Science and Technology},
number = 13,
volume = 53,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {6}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record
https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.9b00282

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 5 works
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Figures / Tables:

Figure 1 Figure 1: (a) Map of West Oakland indicating the location of all sampling sites in the 100×100 BC Network in relation to designated truck routes, freeways, and streets where truck traffic is prohibited (as provided by the City of Oakland).50 Sampling sites referenced in the text are highlighted in green.more » A wind rose of hourly wind direction and velocity measured at the BAAQMDmonitoring station (site 3) during the 100 day study is also shown. Pictures of ABCDs deployed at (b) a residential collocation site, (c) a traffic intersection, (d) an upwind site near the San Francisco Bay. (e) Screenshot of sensor status map from the network maintenance website, as accessed on a mobile device in the field. Map data © 2018 Google.« less

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