Urban development in the Las Vegas Valley of Nevada (USA) has expanded rapidly over the past 50 years. The air quality in the valley has suffered owing to increases from anthropogenic emissions of carbon monoxide, ozone and criteria pollutants of particular matter. Air quality observations show that pollutant concentrations have apparent heterogeneous characteristics in the urban area. Quantified urban land use and land cover information derived from satellite remote sensing data indicate an apparent local influence of urban development density on air pollutant distributions. Multi-year observational data collected by a network of local air monitoring stations specify that ozone maximums develop in the May and June timeframe, whereas minimum concentrations generally occur from November to February. The fine particulate matter maximum occurs in July. Ozone concentrations are highest on the west and northwest sides of the valley. Night-time ozone reduction contributes to the heterogeneous features of the spatial distribution for average ozone levels in the Las Vegas metropolitan area. Decreased ozone levels associated with increased urban development density suggest that the highest ozone and lowest nitrogen oxides concentrations are associated with medium to low density urban development in Las Vegas.
Additional publication details
Analysis of impacts of urban land use and land cover on air quality in the Las Vegas region using remote sensing information and ground observations