13 Scopus citations


Elevated concentration of atmospheric aerosols during severe urban air pollution episodes necessitates a deep understanding of the underlying determinants for a sustainable urban environment. The 15-year (2001–2015) Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aerosol optical depth (AOD) data for the Phoenix and Los Angeles Metropolitan Areas were applied to examine the spatio-temporal patterns and dynamics of urban aerosols. The strongly correlated temporal trends of AOD were observed due to the similar seasonal pattern of aerosol emissions and potential synoptic connections between two areas. Relatively higher mean value and lower decreasing trend of AOD were found in the PMA. Correlations reveal that topography is the predominant factor affecting the spatial pattern of AOD, as compared to the urban land use and vegetation. The effect of urbanization on air pollution varies with preexisting landscape, which apparently alleviates aerosol concentration in the PMA. Vegetation mitigates air pollution despite its emission of fine mode aerosols. As a cross-validation, the ground-measured concentrations of particulate matters (PM2.5 and PM10) were compared against AOD. The abnormal weak positive or strong negative AOD–PM2.5 associations result from the relatively small portion of anthropogenic aerosols and the changing atmospheric boundary layer height.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1556-1565
Number of pages10
JournalScience of the Total Environment
StatePublished - Dec 31 2017


  • AOD–PM association
  • Aerosol optical depth
  • Land use
  • Topography
  • Urban environment
  • Vegetation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Landscape determinants of spatio-temporal patterns of aerosol optical depth in the two most polluted metropolitans in the United States'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this