Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects



Document Type



Nitric oxide (NO) and reactive oxides of nitrogen (NOy) are pollutants produced by automobiles and formed naturally from nitrate ions (NO3-). We are interested in the natural processes and anthroprogenic sources of NO and NOy. To better understand NO and NOy trends in the atmosphere, data from Mammoth Cave National Park (MCNP) was analyzed. The rural location of MCNP leads to the hypothesis that the natural sources of NO to be studied without anthropogenic sources significantly contributing to the overall levels. NO is correlated with factors such as solar radiance and precipitation. There is a correlation between NO levels and solar radiance. Interstate-65 and Bowling Green were identified as possible point sources of pollution in MCNP. The concentration of NO3- in wet deposition is compared with NO and NOy to determine the extent nitrate ions undergo nitrate photolysis which puts NO and NOy into the atmosphere. Sulfur dioxide (SO2) can scavenge into rain water to form sulfate (SO4-2), so the concentrations in precipitation were analyzed for a negative correlation as well. No correlation was found between ion concentrations in precipitation and trace gases.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Dr. Matthew Nee



Included in

Chemistry Commons