External contribution to urban air pollution

R Grima, A Micallef*, JJ Colls

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Elevated particulate matter concentrations in urban locations have normally been associated with local traffic emissions. Recently it has been suggested that such episodes are influenced to a high degree by PM10 sources external to urban areas. To further corroborate this hypothesis, linear regression was sought between PM10 concentrations measured at eight urban sites in the U.K., with particulate sulphate concentration measured at two rural sites, for the years 1993-1997. Analysis of the slopes, intercepts and correlation coefficients indicate a possible relationship between urban PM10 and rural sulphate concentrations. The influences of wind direction and of the distance of the urban from the rural sites on the values of the three statistical parameters are also explored. The value of linear regression as an analysis tool in such cases is discussed and it is shown that an analysis of the sign of the rate of change of the urban PM10 and rural sulphate concentrations provides a more realistic method of correlation. The results indicate a major influence on urban PM10 concentrations from the eastern side of the United Kingdom. Linear correlation was also sought using PM10 data from nine urban sites in London and nearby rural Rochester. Analysis of the magnitude of the gradients and intercepts together with episode correlation analysis between the two sites showed the effect of transported PM10 on the local London concentrations. This article also presents methods to estimate the influence of rural and urban PM10 sources on urban PM10 concentrations and to obtain a rough estimate of the transboundary contribution to urban air pollution from the PM10 concentration data of the urban site.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-314
Number of pages24
JournalEnvironmental Monitoring and Assessment
Volume73
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2002

Keywords

  • airborne particulate matter
  • regional air pollution
  • transboundary pollution

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