A hybrid modeling framework to estimate pollutant concentrations and exposures in near road environments.

Affiliation

Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Connecticut 191 Auditorium Road, Unit 3222. Storrs, CT 06269-3222, United States of America. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

Traffic related air pollution is one of the major local sources of pollution challenging most urban populations. Current air quality modeling approaches can estimate the concentrations of air pollutants on either regional or local scales but cannot effectively estimate concentrations from the combination of regional and local sources at both local and regional scales simultaneously. This study describes a hybrid modeling framework, HYCAMR, combining a regional model, CAMx, and a local-scale dispersion model, R-LINE, to estimate concentrations of both primary and secondary species at high temporal (hourly) and spatial (40 m) resolution. HYCAMR utilizes all the chemical and physical processes available in CAMx and the Particulate Matter Source Apportionment Technology (PSAT) tool to estimate concentrations from both onroad and nonroad emission sources. HYCAMR employs R-LINE, to estimate the normalized dispersion of pollutant mass from onroad emission sources, from primary and secondary roads, at high resolution. Applying R-LINE for one day per month using average daily meteorology yields seasonally-resolved spatial dispersion profiles at low computational cost. Combining the R-LINE spatial dispersion profile with CAMx concentration estimates yields an estimate of the combined concentrations for a range of pollutants at high spatial and temporal resolution. In three major cities in Connecticut, HYCAMR shows strong temporal and seasonal variability in NOx, PM2.5, and elemental carbon (EC) concentrations. This study evaluates HYCAMR year 2011 estimates of NO2 and PM2.5 against two sources: satellite-based estimates at coarse resolution and regression model estimates at census block group resolution. In this evaluation, HYCAMR demonstrates improved agreement with the land-use regression modeling and mixed agreement with satellite-based estimates when compared to the regional CAMx estimates.

Keywords

Air pollution,Air pollution modeling,Exposure assessment,Near road concentrations,Traffic-related air pollution,