Repository logo

Model data associated with manuscript, "Source regions contributing to excess reactive nitrogen deposition in the greater Yellowstone area (GYA) of the United States"




Zhang, Rui
Thompson, Tammy
Barna, Michael
Hand, Jennifer
McMurray, Jill
Bell, Michael
Malm, William
Schichtel, Bret

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Research has shown that excess reactive nitrogen (Nr) deposition in the Greater Yellowstone Area (GYA) of the United States has passed critical load (CL) thresholds and is adversely affecting sensitive ecosystems in this area. To better understand the sources causing excess Nr deposition, the Comprehensive Air Quality Model with extensions (CAMx), using Western Air Quality Study (WAQS) emission and meteorology inputs, was used to simulate Nr deposition in the GYA. CAMx's Particulate Source Apportionment Technology (PSAT) was employed to estimate contributions from agriculture (AG), oil and gas (OG), fire (Fire), and other (Other) source sectors from 27 regions, including the model boundary conditions (BC) to the simulated Nr for 2011. The BC were outside the conterminous United States and thought to represent international anthropogenic and natural contributions. Emissions from the AG and Other source sectors are predominantly from reduced N and oxidized N compounds, respectively. The model evaluation revealed a systematic underestimation in ammonia (NH3) concentrations by 65% and overestimation in nitric acid concentrations by 108%. The measured inorganic N wet deposition at National Trend Network sites in the GYA was overestimated by 31–49%, due at least partially to an overestimation of precipitation. These uncertainties appear to result in an overestimation of distant source regions including California and BC and an underestimation of closer agricultural source regions including the Snake River valley. Due to these large uncertainties the relative contributions from the modelled sources and their general patterns are the most reliable results. Source apportionment results showed that the AG sector was the single largest contributor to the GYA total Nr deposition, contributing 34% on an annual basis. Seventy-four percent of the AG contributions originated from the Idaho Snake River valley, with Wyoming, California, and northern Utah contributing another 7%, 5%, and 4%, respectively. Contributions from the OG sector were small at about 1% over the GYA, except in the southern Wind River Mountain Range during winter where they accounted for more than 10%, with 46% of these contributions coming from OG activities in Wyoming. Wild and prescribed fires contributed 18% of the total Nr deposition, with fires within the GYA having the highest impact. The Other source category was the largest winter contributor (44%) with high contributions from California, Wyoming and northern Utah.


We provide the CAMx simulation data related with the nitrogen deposition source apportionment results over the Greater Yellowstone Area.
Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere

Rights Access



Associated Publications

Zhang, R., Thompson, T. M., Barna, M. G., Hand, J. L., McMurray, J. A., Bell, M. D., Malm, W. C., and Schichtel, B. A.: Source regions contributing to excess reactive nitrogen deposition in the Greater Yellowstone Area (GYA) of the United States, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 18, 12991–13011,, 2018.