View of the field site
The picture below shows the field site in the Uintah Basin. You can see several trailers containing a number of different scientific instruments. The scaffolding contains instruments, and inlets to other instruments that are located in the trailers. The instruments are measuring the concentrations of the ingredients in ozone formation: 1) volatile organic compounds (VOCs), 2) nitrogen oxides (NOx and HONO), and 3) sunlight intensity. The scaffolding allows scientists to sample the air at several different heights simultaneously. This provides information on whether the sources of VOCs and nitrogen oxides are emitted locally at the surface, or if they are transported from a distance.
The image below was taken from the top of the scaffolding, providing a bird's eye view of part of the Uintah Basin.
Well over a dozen scientists are involved in this field campaign, from all over the US and Canada. For most of them, this is their 3rd or 4th season in the Uintah Basin. Much has been learned during this time, but important uncertainties remain, which is why they are here again this year. Last year's campaign led to the hypothesis that snow chemistry is playing a role in ozone formation, and that is why we are here this year! The collective goal is to understand the details of ozone formation in this region, so that policy makers can devise effective strategies to bring ozone back to healthy levels.