Regional-scale modelling for the assessment of atmospheric particulate matter concentrations at rural background locations in Europe

Gašparac, Goran; Jeričević, Amela; Kumar, Prashant; Grisogono, Branko

The application of regional-scale air quality models is an important tool in air quality assessment and management. For this reason, the understanding of model abilities and performances is mandatory. The main objective of this research was to investigate the spatial and temporal variability of background particulate matter (PM) concentrations, to evaluate the regional air quality modelling performance in simulating PM concentrations during statically stable conditions and to investigate processes that contribute to regionally increased PM concentrations with a focus on eastern and central Europe. The temporal and spatial variability of observed PM was analysed at 310 rural background stations in Europe during 2011. Two different regional air quality modelling systems (offline coupled European Monitoring and Evaluation Programme, EMEP, and online coupled Weather Research and Forecasting with Chemistry) were applied to simulate the transport of pollutants and to further investigate the processes that contributed to increased concentrations during high-pollution episodes. Background PM measurements from rural background stations, wind speed, surface pressure and ambient temperature data from 920 meteorological stations across Europe, classified according to the elevation, were used for the evaluation of individual model performance. Among the sea-level stations (up to 200 m), the best modelling performance, in terms of meteorology and chemistry, was found for both models. The underestimated modelled PM concentrations in some cases indicated the importance of the accurate assessment of regional air pollution transport under statically stable atmospheric conditions and the necessity of further model improvements.

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Gašparac, Goran / Jeričević, Amela / Kumar, Prashant / et al: Regional-scale modelling for the assessment of atmospheric particulate matter concentrations at rural background locations in Europe. 2020. Copernicus Publications.

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Rechteinhaber: Goran Gašparac et al.

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