Simulation of O 3 and NO x in São Paulo street urban canyons with VEIN (v0.2.2) and MUNICH (v1.0)

Gavidia-Calderón, Mario Eduardo; Ibarra-Espinosa, Sergio; Kim, Youngseob; Zhang, Yang; Andrade, Maria de Fatima

We evaluate the performance of the Model of Urban Network of Intersecting Canyons and Highways (MUNICH) in simulating ozone (Oinline-formula3) and nitrogen oxides (NOinline-formulax) concentrations within the urban street canyons in the São Paulo metropolitan area (SPMA). The MUNICH simulations are performed inside the Pinheiros neighborhood (a residential area) and Paulista Avenue (an economic hub), which are representative urban canyons in the SPMA. Both zones have air quality stations maintained by the São Paulo Environmental Agency (CETESB), providing data (both pollutant concentrations and meteorological) for model evaluation. Meteorological inputs for MUNICH are produced by a simulation with the Weather Research and Forecasting model (WRF) over triple-nested domains with the innermost domain centered over the SPMA at a spatial grid resolution of 1 km. Street coordinates and emission flux rates are retrieved from the Vehicular Emission Inventory (VEIN) emission model, representing the real fleet of the region. The VEIN model has an advantage to spatially represent emissions and present compatibility with MUNICH. Building height is estimated from the World Urban Database and Access Portal Tools (WUDAPT) local climate zone map for SPMA. Background concentrations are obtained from the Ibirapuera air quality station located in an urban park. Finally, volatile organic compound (VOC) speciation is approximated using information from the São Paulo air quality forecast emission file and non-methane hydrocarbon concentration measurements. Results show an overprediction of Oinline-formula3 concentrations in both study cases. NOinline-formulax concentrations are underpredicted in Pinheiros but are better simulated in Paulista Avenue. Compared to Oinline-formula3, NOinline-formula2 is better simulated in both urban zones. The Oinline-formula3 prediction is highly dependent on the background concentration, which is the main cause for the model Oinline-formula3 overprediction. The MUNICH simulations satisfy the performance criteria when emissions are calibrated. The results show the great potential of MUNICH to represent the concentrations of pollutants emitted by the fleet close to the streets. The street-scale air pollutant predictions make it possible in the future to evaluate the impacts on public health due to human exposure to primary exhaust gas pollutants emitted by the vehicles.

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Gavidia-Calderón, Mario Eduardo / Ibarra-Espinosa, Sergio / Kim, Youngseob / et al: Simulation of O3 and NOx in São Paulo street urban canyons with VEIN (v0.2.2) and MUNICH (v1.0). 2021. Copernicus Publications.

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