A very high-resolution assessment and modelling of urban air quality

Tobias Wolf, Lasse H. Pettersson, Igor Esau
2019 Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions  
<p><strong>Abstract.</strong> Urban air quality is one of the most prominent environmental concerns for a modern city dweller. Accurate monitoring of air quality is difficult due to intrinsic urban landscape heterogeneity and superposition of multiple polluting sources. Existing approaches often do not provide the necessary spatial details and peak concentrations of pollutants, especially at larger distances from measuring stations. A more advanced approach is needed. This study presents a very
more » ... udy presents a very high-resolution air quality assessment with the large-eddy simulation model PALM. This fully three-dimensional primitive-equation hydro-dynamical model resolves both structural details of the complex urban surface and turbulent eddies larger than 10&amp;thinsp;m in size. We ran a set of 9 meteorological scenarios in order to assess the dispersion of pollutants in Bergen, a middle-sized Norwegian city embedded in a coastal valley. This set of scenarios represents typically observed conditions with high air pollution from nitrogen dioxide (NO<sub>2</sub>) and particulate matter (PM<sub>2.5</sub>). The modelling methodology helped to identify pathways and patterns of air pollution caused by the three main local air pollution sources in the city. These are road vehicle traffic, domestic house heating with wood-burning fireplaces and ships docked in the harbour area next to the city centre. The study produced vulnerability maps, highlighting the most impacted districts for each scenario.</p>
doi:10.5194/acp-2019-294 fatcat:g5xzselfzneftccszqegsuwsqy