Tropospheric Ozone Pollution Project
Valparaiso University & The University of Houston





Welcome to the Tropospheric Ozone Pollution Project, a research project funded that has been funded by

The Shell Center for Sustainability at Rice University
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
NASA's Office of Earth Science
Fulbright - The Japan-U.S. Educational Commission (JUSEC)
Valparaiso University

Use the links at left and above to find information on ozone pollution, our funding sources, launch plans, and ozone data. You can even find trajectories predicting the path of our balloons.

Special Project: Simulation of Plume Transport from the 14 April 2010 Eruption of Eyjafjallajokull Volcano in Iceland - Updated 22:00 UTC on 5 May 2010

The NASA Goddard Kinematic Trajectory Model (KTM) [Schoeberl and Sparling, 1995] is used to forecast the transport of the volcanic plume through 21 April. Parcels are initialize in the model on a 1.0 deg. latitude by 2.5 deg. longitude grid every 0.25 deg. in latitude and every 0.50 deg. in longitude centered on the location of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano (63.63 deg. N, 19.60 deg. W). Parcels are injected every 500 m from 1.5 km to 10.0 km at 18:00 and 24:00 UTC on 14 April, then every 500 m from 1.5 km to 2.5 km every two hours from 2:00 to 18:00 UTC on 15 April to simulate the observed continuous injection of air parcels. The KTM is run using meteorological data from the National Centers for Environmental Prediction, with analysis data to the present time, then in forecast mode to future times (resolution of 1 deg. latitude by 1 deg. longitude by 6 hours). The associated animation shows the possible evolution of the plume over time, with the heights of the plume indicated by the color coding. The animation can be found as a PDF or QuickTime Movie.

This PDF and QuickTime Movie show the entire Northern Hemisphere.

NEW: This PDF and QuickTime Movie are based on satellite observations made on 15 April 2010. Parcels were initialized on a 6.0 deg. latitude by 20 deg. longitude grid centered on 61.0 N, 2.0 W every 0.5 km in the vertical from 1.5 to 10.0 km, every 1.5 hours from 7.5 to 19.5 UTC on 15 April 2010. This grid of parcels was run backwards for 2 days. Those parcels coming within 25 km of the volcano site were noted, with all altitudes allowed before 2359 UTC on 14 April 2010 and only altitudes < 2.5 km allowed after that time. These parcels were then used to initialize a 7-day forward run of the KTM, shown in the animations linked above. NOTE that this simulation assumes no additional plume input after 1930 UTC on 15 April 2010.

Fulbright project studies the impact of China's pollution on Japan

With funding from the Japan-U.S. Educational Commission through the Fulbright Program and from NASA's Earth Science Division, we will be investigating the impact of pollution from China on air quality in Japan. With the occurance of the Olympic games in Beijing during August 2008 and the pollution control measures that China is implementing to meet air quality requirements, this summer presents an unprecidented opportunity to examine the impact of China's pollution on regional and global pollution budgets. Using Aura satellite data, balloon and surface data from Japan, trajectory models, we will be investigating these questions in 2008 and 2009. From July - Septmeber each year, we will work at Hokkaido University with colleagues in the School of Environmental Science taking data. Then from October - November each year, we will work with scientists in Japan at the Frontier Research Center for Global Change analyzing the data. Thanks to Fulbright, NASA, and our hosts in Japan at Hokkaido University and FRCGC. Follow along on the Olympics data link.

Want to hear what our instruments sound like?

Click here to hear the data stream picked up on by our ground antenna. The instruments transmit in the reserved weather-band of 400 - 406 MHz. This sound is music to our ears! (Sound file courtesy of John Dimmick.)

Find One of Our Instruments?

If you find a balloon payload, do not be afraid. They contain nothing dangerous, although the battery may be smelly. Just store it in a dry, outdoor location until you can return it. We'd like to know where and when you found it. Just email us. Also, if you mail the payload back to NOAA in Boulder, CO, you can earn a $30 reward..

Left: Undergraduate Stephen Holcomb prepares to launch a weather balloon.
Right: The payload includes a radiosonde (blue box) that measures pressure, temperature and humidity and a larger styrofoam box that contains the ozone-measuring instrument.

Click here to view more photos and a letter to the civil authorities about our project.





U.S. Data
- SE Texas
- Beaumont

- Dallas/Ft. Worth
- Grand Bay (NOAA)
- Idabel, OK
- Maryland
- Michigan (PCCI)
- Valparaiso, IN


International Data
- Las Tablas, Panama (NASA TC-4)
- Sapporo, Japan (Fulbright)
- San Jose, Costa Rica (TICOSONDE)

Met Data
- balloon trajectory forecast
- lower level winds
- upper level winds
- upper level alt.
- NWS Houston surface obs.
- Houston surface O3 obs.

- EPA AirNow

- TexAQS 2
- NASA Aura

Other Links
- Aura overpass
- Pierce Cedar Creek Institute
- VU Physics
- VU Meteorology


© Copyright Dr. Gary Morris, Ph.D., 2012. All rights reserved.

Site created by Design by Erica