Publication Date

April 2011


Houston, Texas has long been an urban area plagued with high levels of surface ozone, particularly in spring and late summer. The combination of a large commuter population and one of the largest concentrations of petrochemical plants in the world results in abundant and nearly co-located sources of NOx and hydrocarbons. The location of Houston on the South Coast of the United States in a subtropical climate results in meteorological conditions that favor ozone production. Using MOZAIC (1994 - 2004), ozonesonde (2000, 2004 - 2010), and TES (2005 – 2010) data, we examine the evolution of ozone profiles over Houston during a period in which various strategies have been implemented to alleviate the ozone pollution problem. Using meteorological data from associated soundings and analyses, we identify and evaluate influences on the ozone profiles from natural and anthropogenic sources, as well as local and remote sources. We further investigate how these various influences have changed with time.