Evaluating a Canadian regional air quality model using ground-based observations in north-eastern Canada and United States

J Environ Monit. 2003 Feb;5(1):40-6. doi: 10.1039/b204784p.


The simulated concentrations from a numerical 3-dimensional regional air quality model (MC2AQ) are compared to those of ground-based observations in north-eastern Canada and the United States. The model has oxidant chemistry for both inorganic and organic species and deposition routines driven online by a mesoscale compressible community meteorological model (MC2). A standard emission inventory of anthropogenic, natural and biogenic sources for the year 1990 for 21 atmospheric trace species was used in the simulation. The model was run for July 1999, because of the occurrence of a high ozone episode and the availability of the monitoring data for surface O3, SO2, NO, NO2 and NOx. The comparisons during the episode show that the model performs quite well for predicting concentrations and diurnal variations of the surface ozone. The predictions for other gaseous species show some discrepancies with observations, but they are consistent with the results from other models evaluated in the literature. The uncertainties in the emission inventory for these species might be the main causes of the discrepancies. Further studies are needed to improve the predictability of SO and NOx, especially as the model is developed to include particulate matter formation as a result of these gaseous precursors.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollutants / analysis*
  • Canada
  • Environmental Monitoring / methods
  • Environmental Monitoring / standards
  • Forecasting
  • Models, Theoretical*
  • Oxidants, Photochemical / analysis*
  • Ozone / analysis*
  • Particle Size
  • Photochemistry
  • United States


  • Air Pollutants
  • Oxidants, Photochemical
  • Ozone