Effect of meteorological exchange conditions on PM10 concentration

Jutta Holst, Helmut Mayer, Thomas Holst

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikel i vetenskaplig tidskriftPeer review


The short-term limit value for PM10 having become effective in January 2005 was exceeded in many regions within the EU in 2005 and 2006. Therefore, strategies, particularly with respect to traffic control, are discussed, which could cause reduced PM10 concentrations leading to a more effective compliance with the short-term PM10 limit value. These strategies are often justified on PM10 differences between a roadside and an adjacent urban background station. As PM10 is a complex mixture of species originating from different sources, the working hypothesis has been posted that the meteorological exchange conditions strongly affect the PM10 concentration. Therefore, the role of the meteorological exchange conditions with respect to different PM10 patterns, like cycles and PM10 episodes, was investigated on the basis of mean daily PM10 values from air pollution monitoring stations in Baden-Wurttemberg (SW Germany) in the period January 2001 to February 2006. To characterise the meteorological exchange conditions in a spatial resolution, different meteorological variables were used. Partly, they are directly measured at the air pollution monitoring stations or, as for the height of the mixing-layer (MLH) and the stagnation index (SI), they were derived from results of the local model (LM) of the German Weather Service. For periods without precipitation, the results show a statistically significant relationship between PM10 and MLH as well as SI. PM10 increased with decreasing MLH and increasing SI. During periods with precipitation, these relationships were very weak and had no statistical significance. The analysis of the influence of precipitation performed on a daily basis revealed a distinct reduction of PM10 on the first day with precipitation after a period without precipitation. On following days without precipitation, PM10 increased again. Characteristic of the PM10 episodes analysed were remarkably reduced meteorological exchange conditions described by MLH, near-surface wind speed and precipitation. As a case study, two extreme PM10 episodes in January/February 2006 were investigated in detail. As expected, the station-specific variability of the mean daily PM10 values correlated well with daily values of MLH and SI reflecting the pattern of the regional meteorological exchange conditions. Altogether, all results of this investigation point out the main significance of the meteorological exchange conditions on the PM10 level, which is particularly dominant during PM10 episodes.
Sidor (från-till)273-282
TidskriftMeteorologische Zeitschrift
StatusPublished - 2008

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