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Event Evidence Analysis
The chemical composition data are only available for May 8, 2002, which will be the focus of this assessment. May 7 and 9, 2002 will be touched upon in the summary. According to the chemical data on May 8, 2002 the surface concentration of SmokeBio Mass was exceptionally high from northern Florida to North Carolina (>20 mg/m3). Everywhere else over the eastern U.S. it was low. For comparison the measured sulfate concentrations between Georgia and Virginia were also high. However the sulfate concentration peak was more toward the west compared to the observed SmokeBioMass peak covering the Southeastern seaboard.
Fire and Transport:
The existence of Okefenokee fire was documented through the fire pixels in N. Florida. Furthermore, the back trajectories clearly indicate transport from FL toward SC. The surface winds indicate near-stagnation over the Southeastern seaboard.
The spatial distribution of PM2.5 shows a pronounced high concentration region (>30 mg/m3) between FL and NC. Evidently, the high PM concentration "blob" is contributed by both SmokeBioMass and sulfate.
The PM2.5 time series shows exceptionally high values on May 8, 2002 at Columbia. Most sites in SC are showing high PM2.5 concentrations.
On May 8, 2002 most of SC was clearly impacted by the Okefenokee smoke drifting from northern Florida along the southeastern seaboard. The evidence is strong in all four categories: chemical signature, fire and transport, spatial pattern and temporal pattern. However, the concentration of sulfates over SC was comparable to the level of SmokeBioMass. Furthermore, smoke related OC in Greenville is below average for this day. Thus only a fraction of the overall PM2.5 concentrations could be attributed to the Okefenokee smoke.