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Two Air Quality Regimes in Total Column NO2 over the Gulf of Mexico in May 2019: Shipboard and Satellite Views
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  • Anne M. Thompson,
  • Debra E. Kollonige,
  • Ryan Michael Stauffer,
  • Alexander Kotsakis,
  • Nader Abuhassan,
  • Lok N. Lamsal,
  • Robert J swap,
  • Donald Ray Blake,
  • Amy Townsend-Small,
Anne M. Thompson

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Debra E. Kollonige
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Ryan Michael Stauffer
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
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Alexander Kotsakis
Universities Space Research Association
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Nader Abuhassan
JCET/University of Maryland Baltimore County
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Lok N. Lamsal
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Robert J swap
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
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Donald Ray Blake
University of California, Irvine
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Amy Townsend-Small
University of Cincinnati
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The Satellite Coastal and Oceanic Atmospheric Pollution Experiment (SCOAPE) cruise in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) was conducted in May 2019 by NASA and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to determine the feasibility of using satellite data to measure air quality (AQ) in a region of concentrated oil and natural gas (ONG) operations. SCOAPE featured nitrogen dioxide (NO2) instrumentation (Pandora, Teledyne API analyzer) at Cocodrie, LA (29.26°, -90.66°), and on the Research Vessel Point Sur operating off the Louisiana coast with measurements of ozone, carbon monoxide (CO) and volatile organic compounds (VOC). The findings: (1) both satellite and Pandora NO2 observations revealed two AQ regimes over the GOM, the first influenced by tropical air in 10-14 May, the second influenced by flow from urban areas on 15-17 May; (2) Comparisons of OMI v4 and TROPOMI v1.3 TC (total column) NO2 data with all Pandora NO2 column observations on the Point Sur averaged 13% agreement with the largest difference during 15-17 May (~20%). At Cocodrie, LA, at the same time, the satellite-Pandora agreement was ~5%. (3) Three new-model Pandora instruments displayed a TC NO2 precision of 0.01 Dobson Units (~5%); (4) Regions of smaller and older operations displayed high methane (CH4) readings, presumably from leakage; VOC were also detected at high concentrations. Given an absence of regular AQ data in and near the GOM, SCOAPE data constitute a baseline against which future observations can be compared.