Urban development in the Las Vegas Valley, Nevada, has grown rapidly in the past fifty years. Associated with this growth has been a change in landscape from natural cover types to developed urban land mixed with planned vegetation canopy throughout in the metropolitan area. Air quality in the Las Vegas Valley has been affected by increases in anthropogenic emissions and concentrations of carbon monoxide, ozone, and criteria pollutants of particular matter. Ozone concentration in the region is generally influenced by synoptic and mesoscale meteorological conditions, as well as regional transport of pollutants from the western side of Las Vegas. Local influences from ground-level nitrogen oxide emissions and vegetation canopy coverage also affect ozone concentration. Multi-year observational data collected by a network of local air monitoring stations in Clark County, Nevada, indicate that ozone maximums develop in May and June, while minimums exist primarily from November to February. Ozone concentrations are high on the west and northwest sides of the valley. A nighttime ozone reduction in the urban area characterizes the heterogeneous features of spatial distribution for average ozone levels in the Las Vegas urban area. The urban vegetation canopy has a locally positive effect by reducing ozone in urban areas. Decreased ozone levels associated with increased urban development density suggests that the highest ozone concentrations are associated with medium- to low-density urban development in Las Vegas.
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The study of ozone variations in the Las Vegas metropolitan area using remote sensing information and ground observations