1Department of Radio and Space Science, Chalmers University of Technology, 41296 Gothenburg, Sweden
2Matemáticas Aplicadas y Computación, México, Instituto Mexicano del Petróleo, 07730 Mexico, D.F., Mexico
3Instituto Nacional de Ecología, 04530 Mexico D.F., Mexico
4Molina Center for Energy and the Environment, CA, USA
5Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Saint Louis University, USA
Abstract. The Mexico City Metropolitan Area (MCMA) has presented severe pollution problems for many years. There are several point and mobile emission sources inside and outside the MCMA which are known to affect air quality in the area. In particular, speculation has risen as to whether the Tula industrial complex, located 60 km northwest of the MCMA has any influence on high SO2 levels occurring on the northern part of the city, in the winter season mainly. As part of the MILAGRO Field Campaign, from 24 March to 17 April 2006, the differential vertical columns of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) were measured during plume transects in the neighborhood of the Tula industrial complex using mobile mini-DOAS instruments. Vertical profiles of wind speed and direction obtained from pilot balloons and radiosondes were used to calculate SO2 and NO2 emissions. According to our measurements, calculated average emissions of SO2 and NO2 during the field campaign were 384±103 and 24±7 tons day−1, respectively. The standard deviation of these estimations is due to actual variations in the observed emissions from the refinery and power plant, as well as to the uncertainty in the wind fields at the exact time of the measurements. Reported values in recent inventories were found to be in good agreement with calculated emissions during the field campaign. Our measurements were also found to be in good agreement with simulated plumes.