Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects


Geography and Geology

Document Type



Aerosols are directly and indirectly related to global climate by scattering radiation and also by seeding cloud formation. As a part of the 2014 NASA Student Airborne Research Program (SARP), research flights were conducted over the Central California region to better understand air quality in large urban California cities and also in the Central Valley. Using a Droplet Measurement Technologies Ultra High Sensitivity Aerosol Spectrometer (DMT-UHSAS), aerosol size distributions were measured across geographic regions of interest. Previous research has suggested that aerosols originating in the Central Valley may travel eastward to the Sierra Nevada and, once lifted orographically, could suppress precipitation in the clouds over the mountains. High concentrations of aerosols were found over the Central Valley during the SARP campaign. Wind trajectories as well as meteorological variables were used to verify whether or not these aerosols travel to the mountains and affect cloud formation. Wind data supports transport toward local mountain ranges and aerosol concentrations at the top and base of the mountains will be discussed.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Dr. Rezaul Mahmood


Earth Sciences | Geology

Included in

Geology Commons