Allocating anthropogenic pollutant emissions over space: Application to ozone pollution management

Jeremy E. Diem, Andrew C. Comrie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


An inventory of volatile organic compound (VOC) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions is an important tool for the management of ground-level ozone pollution. This paper has two broad aims: it illustrates the potential of a geographic information system (GIS) for enhancing an existing spatially-aggregated, anthropogenic emissions inventory (EI) for Tucson, AZ, and it discusses the ozone-specific management implications of the resulting spatially-disaggregated El. The main GIS-related methods include calculating emissions for specific features, spatially disaggregating region-wide emissions totals for area sources, and adding emissions from various point sources. In addition, temporal allocation factors enable the addition of a multi-temporal component to the inventory. The resulting inventory reveals that on-road motor vehicles account for approximately 50% of VOC and NOx emissions annually. On-road motor vehicles and residential wood combustion are the largest VOC sources in the summer and winter months, respectively. On-road motor vehicles are always the largest NOx sources. The most noticeable weekday vs. weekend VOC emissions differences are triggered by increased residential wood combustion and increased lawn and garden equipment use on weekends. Concerning the El's uncertainties and errors, on-road mobile, construction equipment, and lawn and garden equipment are identified as sources in the most need of further investigation. Overall, the Els spatial component increases its utility as a management tool, which might involve visualization-driven analyses and air quality modeling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)425-447
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001


  • Air pollution
  • Emissions inventory
  • Geographic information systems
  • Ozone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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