The Effects of Distortion on Trajectory of Diesel Particulate Matter (PM) from Mobile Sources

There are strong evidences that inhaled pollutants can have adverse effects on lung and heart. It is also possible that the inhaled particulates travel into the brain along nerves from nasal passages or/and transported via the blood stream from the lungs. Clinical studies on dogs and mice have shown significant increases in the levels of inflammatory markers and abnormal protein deposits in the brain of animals that are exposed to high level of particulate matter (PM). These markers and abnormality are also seen in patients' preceding conditions to the onset of the Alzheimer disease. Although further clinical studies and research are needed to assess the exact impact of air pollution on brain, however, these studies show that the brain is not immune to the ambient air pollution. Within an urban area, concentration, dispersion and diffusion of pollutants are strong functions of urban aerodynamics. Our objectives for the proposed study is to investigate the impacts of distortion and wind straining caused by the surrounding building structures on concentration and dispersion of fine and ultrafine particulates from a moving vehicle. We recently have completed a METRANS applied research project on development of an exposure model for diesel locomotive emissions near the Alameda corridor railroad. Our research was focused on the distance that the diesel particulate matter (PM) travels in an open non-distorted area when a diesel locomotive passes. Results indicated an average of 12 to 15 % increase in aerosol concentration due to the passage of the diesel locomotives. Due to the limited budget, we could not acquire sensitive equipment to resolve information about the fine and ultra-fine particulates which are the main contributors to the adverse health impacts in this region. In addition, within the metropolitan areas, surrounding buildings and structures impose pressure gradients on moving emissions which impacts the PM trajectory and its local concentration. Thus, the next step in our research is to investigate the effects of straining and distortion caused by the surrounding structures on the diesel PM trajectory and to resolve information about the fine and ultra-fine particles from the passage of diesel locomotives near the Alameda corridor railroad, with and without the distortion. Results of the proposed investigation can be used to develop criteria for buildings systems modifications and for improving indoor and outdoor air quality of the existing residential and commercial buildings near the ports traffic corridor.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $889992.00
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Center for Metropolitan Transportation Research

    University of Southern California
    650 Childs Way, RGL 107
    Los Angeles, CA  United States  90089-0626
  • Project Managers:

    Valentine, Victoria

  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Southern California, Los Angeles

    University Park Campus
    Los Angeles, CA  United States  90089
  • Principal Investigators:

    Sciortino, Anotonella

    Rahai, Hamid

  • Start Date: 20090816
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • Source Data: RiP Project 26527

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01461403
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: National Center for Metropolitan Transportation Research
  • Contract Numbers: 10-20
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 1:45PM