Weekly periodicity of environmental variables in Phoenix, Arizona

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39 Scopus citations


Though there is no known meteorological cause for weekly cycling of environmental variables, weekly cycles have been discovered at local to global scales, particularly in areas affected by human urbanization. To uncover such cycles in Phoenix, AZ, and to highlight possible mechanisms for their existence, data from several public domain sources were collected and analyzed for cycles in three categories of variables: meteorological, pollution, and human activity measured as vehicle traffic flows. Results indicated that many meteorological and pollution variables do exhibit weekly periodicity and that these cycles are likely due to the weekly pattern of human traffic flows. Atmospheric concentrations of O3 and NOX gases exhibit a high degree of negative correlation, supporting recent research that suggests anthropogenic NOX gases are effective scavengers of ozone in urban cores. Results further suggest that vehicle-generated NOX gases may be a significant generator of atmospheric nitrate particulates. Finally, both traffic flow and NOX gas concentrations display a strong correlation with wind speed in the urban core, though this study does not speculate on a mechanism for this relationship.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)304-310
Number of pages7
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2006


  • Automobile emissions
  • NO gas
  • Nitrate aerosols
  • Ozone
  • Urban atmosphere

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • Atmospheric Science


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