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Impacts of Sugar Cane Agricultural Fires on Air Quality in Southern Florida

Title: Impacts of Sugar Cane Agricultural Fires on Air Quality in Southern Florida: Modeling Particulate Matter with the HYSPLIT Atmospheric Dispersion Model.
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Name(s): Wirks, Charles K., author
Holmes, Christopher D., professor directing thesis
Fuelberg, Henry E., committee member
Chagnon, Jeffrey M., committee member
Florida State University, degree granting institution
College of Arts and Sciences, degree granting college
Department of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Science, degree granting department
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Master Thesis
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2019
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource (84 pages)
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: The state of Florida annually approves 7.4×105 hectares (1.8×106 acres) of prescribed fires, and the production of particulate matter (PM) may cause health issues for neighboring communities. Incomplete combustion of biomass leads to the production of abundant amounts of concentrated PM. PM smaller than 2.5 microns in diameter (PM2.5), may have adverse effects on respiratory and cardiovascular health, as shown in earlier studies. Excessive exposure to PM2.5 may lead to diseases such as respiratory distress, asthma, heart disease, cancer, and death. In this study, the distribution and effects of PM2.5 caused by prescribed burns of sugarcane crops during the harvest season are simulated and evaluated. This research uses archived data of prescribed fires records from 2008-2015 from the FFS open burn authorizations (OBA). The fires occur during the sugarcane harvest season from Fall (October) until Winter (typically March). We simulate the concentrations of PM2.5 from these fires using the HYSPLIT atmospheric dispersion model driven by meteorology from the North American Mesoscale (NAM) weather model. The results are evaluated against the wind, precipitation, humidity observations, emission factors, locations of fires as reported by Florida Forestry Services (FFS) and observed concentration values reported by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Errors occurred due to the uncertainties and variability in emission factors, fire location, and fire size. The simulation results were then used to evaluate mortality caused by PM2.5 from sugarcane fires in Florida.
Identifier: 2019_Summer_Wirks_fsu_0071N_15305 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Thesis submitted to the Department of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Science in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science.
Degree Awarded: Summer Semester 2019.
Date of Defense: May 23, 2019.
Keywords: aerosols, air quality, atmospheric, dispersion, fires, model
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Christopher D. Holmes, Professor Directing Thesis; Henry Fuelberg, Committee Member; Jeff Chagnon, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Meteorology
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fsu/fd/2019_Summer_Wirks_fsu_0071N_15305
Host Institution: FSU

Choose the citation style.
Wirks, C. K. (2019). Impacts of Sugar Cane Agricultural Fires on Air Quality in Southern Florida: Modeling Particulate Matter with the HYSPLIT Atmospheric Dispersion Model. Retrieved from http://purl.flvc.org/fsu/fd/2019_Summer_Wirks_fsu_0071N_15305