Identification and characterization of inland ship plumes over Vancouver, BC

Gang Lu, Jeffrey R. Brook, M. Rami Alfarra, Kurt Anlauf, W. Richard Leaitch, Sangeeta Sharma, Daniel Wang, Douglas R. Worsnop, Lisa Phinney

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    There is increasing concern regarding the impact of marine vessel emissions on the air quality of coastal areas and their relative impact is increasing as emissions from other sources decrease and shipping activities increase. Marine vessels contain a variety of large diesel engines and in a relatively large number of areas they are currently not restricted from using fuels with a high sulphur content. In August 2001 during the Pacific 2001 study, which included the port city of Vancouver, British Columbia, a large suite of gas and particle measurements were obtained with high time resolution. Among a total of 29 SO2 episodes observed >5 km inland during a period of 15 days, eight were caused by local emissions sources and four were identified as relatively fresh ship plumes. These ship plumes were indicated by an increase of SO2 above 9 ppbv typically lasting for a few hours. They were accompanied by increases in NOx, NO, CO, VOCs, particle counts (5-200 nm), black carbon and PM2.5. Only one plume occurred when an Aerodyne aerosol mass spectrometer (AMS) was in operation and this event is studied in detail. Ultrafine (
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2767-2782
    Number of pages15
    JournalAtmospheric Environment
    Issue number15
    Publication statusPublished - May 2006


    • Aerosol mass spectrometer
    • Formation of sulphate
    • Particulate matter
    • Ship emissions
    • Ship plume
    • Sulphur in diesel fuel
    • Urban air quality


    Dive into the research topics of 'Identification and characterization of inland ship plumes over Vancouver, BC'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this