Our Work

Modeling of Ozone Impacts of Oil and Gas Activities in the Uinta Basin

The phenomenon of wintertime smog at rural oil and gas sites in the Uinta Basin of Utah was the subject of the Uinta Basin Ozone Study (UBOS). With funding from the Western Energy Alliance, Dr. Eduardo (Jay) Olaguer of HARC conducted a modeling study of a 2013 ozone episode using the HARC microscale air quality model and a variety of observational measurements made at the Horsepool site (see accompanying photo) during the UBOS campaign. The conclusions drawn from the modeling study were as follows:

  • Primary formaldehyde (HCHO) from oil and gas facilities and secondary nitrous acid (HONO) from snow surfaces may both play an important role in the cold ozone phenomenon in the Uinta Basin.
  • Primary HCHO emissions in the Uinta Basin may be equivalent to the HCHO emissions of a large refinery.
  • The flux of HONO from snow surfaces to air may be around 4.56 × 10-10 gs-1m-2.

Primary Researcher