Land use information and air quality planning

Final Report Volume 7

Sponsored jointly by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the U.S. Geological Survey


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The pilot national land use information system developed by the U.S. Geological Survey in the Central Atlantic Regional Ecological Test Site project has provided an improved technique for estimating emissions, diffusion, and impact patterns of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and particulate matter. Implementation of plans to control air quality requires land use information, which, until this time, has been inadequate. The pilot system, however, provided data for updating information on the sources of point and area emissions of SO2 and particulate matter affecting the Norfolk-Portsmouth area of Virginia for the 1971-72 winter (Dec.-Jan.-Feb.) and the annual 1972 period, and for a future annual period 1985. This emission information is used as input to the Air Quality Display Model of the Environmental Protection Agency to obtain diffusion and impact patterns for the three periods previously mentioned. The results are: (1) During the 1971-72 winter, estimated S02 amounts over an area with a SW-NE axis in the central section of Norfolk exceeded both primary and secondary levels; (2) future annual levels of SO2, estimated by anticipated residential development and point-source changes, are not expected to cause serious deterioration of the region's present air quality; and (3) for the 1971-72 winter and annual 1972 period the diffusion results showed that both primary and secondary standards for particulate matter are regularly exceeded in central Norfolk and Portsmouth. In addition, on the basis of current control programs, the 1985 levels of particulate matter are expected to exceed the presently established secondary air quality standards through central Norfolk and Portsmouth and in certain areas of Virginia Beach.

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Additional publication details

Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
USGS Unnumbered Series
Land use information and air quality planning
Series title:
Final Report
Series number:
Volume 7
Year Published:
U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Reston, VA
Contributing office(s):
Geography Program
iv, 91 p.
United States
Delaware;Maryl;New Jersey;North Carolina;Pennsylvania;Virginia