1Molina Center for Energy and the Environment, CA, USA
2Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MA, USA
3Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Saint Louis University, USA
4Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Colorado at Boulder, CO, USA
5National Institute of Ecology (INE), Mexico
6Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Texas A&M University, TX, USA
Abstract. The sensitivity of ozone production to precursor emissions was investigated under five different meteorological conditions in the Mexico City Metropolitan Area (MCMA) during the MCMA-2006/MILAGRO field campaign using the gridded photochemical model CAMx driven by observation-nudged WRF meteorology. Precursor emissions were constrained by the comprehensive data from the field campaign and the routine ambient air quality monitoring network. Simulated plume mixing and transport were examined by comparing with measurements from the G-1 aircraft during the campaign. The observed concentrations of ozone precursors and ozone were reasonably well reproduced by the model. The effects of reducing precursor emissions on urban ozone production were performed for three representative emission control scenarios. A 50% reduction in VOC emissions led to 7 to 22 ppb decrease in daily maximum ozone concentrations, while a 50% reduction in NOx emissions leads to 4 to 21 ppb increase, and 50% reductions in both NOx and VOC emission decrease the daily maximum ozone concentrations up to 10 ppb. These results along with a chemical indicator analysis using the chemical production ratios of H2O2 to HNO3 demonstrate that the MCMA urban core region is VOC-limited for all meteorological episodes, which is consistent with the results from MCMA-2003 field campaign; however the degree of the VOC-sensitivity is higher during MCMA-2006 due to lower VOCs, lower VOC reactivity and moderately higher NOx emissions. Ozone formation in the surrounding mountain/rural area is mostly NOx-limited, but can be VOC-limited, and the range of the NOx-limited or VOC-limited areas depends on meteorology.