Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Cole, Alan L.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Geography


Plants; Effect of sulphur dioxide on; Electric power-plants--Environmental aspects--Southern states


A mathematical model for examining the potential for chronic and acute vegetation damage in the vicinity of sulfur dioxide (SO₂) point sources was developed. The potential for vegetation damage is based on computed ground level SO₂ concentrations and results from field studies which have estimated SO₂ vegetation threshold levels and the effects of SO₂ when threshold levels are exceeded. The extent of acute vegetation damage is computed by estimating the area exposed to concentrations above a threshold level and applying a probability of vegetation damage factor. Chronic damage is computed by applying calculated dosages of SO₂ to a functional relationship between dosage and vegetation response. The model was used to assess the potential for acute and chronic vegetation damage in the vicinity of a hypothetical 1000 Mw coal fired power facilities located at Greensboro, North Carolina. Results from the application indicated that for facilities with emission rates in compliance with the New Source Performance Standard (NSPS) areas with acute SO₂ damage were minimal. Computed integrated dosages in the vicinity of the facilities within the NSPS were too low to inflict chronic SO₂ damage. For old existing facilities with emission rates above the NSPS computed areas of potential acute and chronic damage were significant. The model was also applied to 22 locations in the contiguous United States to identify geographical areas with a high potential for acute SO₂ damage. Results of the application indicated that the Southwestern and Southeastern States have the highest potential for damage.


Includes bibliographical references.||Includes illustrations and maps.


ix, 135 pages




Northern Illinois University

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