2022-08-12Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.3390/atmos13081282
Modelling Hourly Particulate Matter (PM10) Concentrations at High Spatial Resolution in Germany Using Land Use Regression and Open Data
Air pollution is a major health risk factor worldwide. Regular short- and long-time exposures to ambient particulate matter (PM) promote various diseases and can lead to premature death. Therefore, in Germany, air quality is assessed continuously at approximately 400 measurement sites. However, knowledge about this intermediate distribution is either unknown or lacks a high spatial–temporal resolution to accurately determine exposure since commonly used chemical transport models are resource intensive. In this study, we present a method that can provide information about the ambient PM concentration for all of Germany at high spatial (100 m × 100 m) and hourly resolutions based on freely available data. To do so we adopted and optimised a method that combined land use regression modelling with a geostatistical interpolation technique using ordinary kriging. The land use regression model was set up based on CORINE (Coordination of Information on the Environment) land cover data and the Germany National Emission Inventory. To test the model’s performance under different conditions, four distinct data sets were used. (1) From a total of 8760 (365 × 24) available h, 1500 were randomly selected. From those, the hourly mean concentrations at all stations (ca. 400) were used to run the model (n = 566,326). The leave-one-out cross-validation resulted in a mean absolute error (MAE) of 7.68 μg m−3 and a root mean square error (RMSE) of 11.20 μg m−3. (2) For a more detailed analysis of how the model performs when an above-average number of high values are modelled, we selected all hourly means from February 2011 (n = 256,606). In February, measured concentrations were much higher than in any other month, leading to a slightly higher MAE of 9.77 μg m−3 and RMSE of 14.36 μg m−3, respectively. (3) To enable better comparability with other studies, the annual mean concentration (n = 413) was modelled with a MAE of 4.82 μg m−3 and a RMSE of 6.08 μg m−3. (4) To verify the model’s capability of predicting the exceedance of the daily mean limit value, daily means were modelled for all days in February (n = 10,845). The exceedances of the daily mean limit value of 50 μg m−3 were predicted correctly in 88.67% of all cases. We show that modelling ambient PM concentrations can be performed at a high spatial–temporal resolution for large areas based on open data, land use regression modelling, and kriging, with overall convincing results. This approach offers new possibilities in the fields of exposure assessment, city planning, and governance since it allows more accurate views of ambient PM concentrations at the spatial–temporal resolution required for such assessments.
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