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Influence of ABL stability on the diurnal cycle of PM10 concentration: illustration of the potential of the new Veneto network of MW-radiometers and SODAR

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Stable boundary layer conditions are long known for causing increasing pollutant concentrations. The region of the Po Valley has a particularly unfortunate topographical conformation which favours low wind and strong inversion situations, a meteorological characteristic that leads to so-called episodic conditions, especially during the cold season. ARPAV-CMT has recently installed a network of boundary layer profilers consisting of four passive microwave radiometers and four SODAR, funded in the framework of the DOCUP 2000–2006 project (DOCumento Unico di Programmazione) and of the Project 'Air pollution in the city of Padua'. This network is briefly presented and an illustration is given as to its potential to analyse the PM10 (particulate matter with diameter lower than 10 m) concentration evolution. An entire year of data as well as a high-concentration episode are analyzed. In particular, emphasis is given to the documentation of the diurnal cycle of PM10 in relation to the atmospheric stability. It was found that PM10 is strongly modulated by synoptic-scale forcing and exhibits a strong diurnal cycle, especially in synoptically undisturbed conditions, when PM10 can exhibit large variations in just a few hours. A conceptualization is proposed which accounts for the daily emission cycle for the interpretation of the diurnal cycle of PM10 concentrations in anticyclonic conditions. It pinpoints the fundamentally different accumulation and removal mechanisms of the particulate matter from the atmosphere in stable and unstable conditions, highlighting the importance of the atmospheric stability at the time of the evening emission peak during the cold season.

Es ist bekannt, dass stabile Grenzschichtbedingungen zu erhöhten Schadstoffbelastungen führen können. Die Poebene hat eine besonders unglückliche topographische Beschaffenheit, die Schwachwindlagen mit starken Temperaturinversionen begünstigt; meteorologische Eigenschaften, die besonders in der kalten Jahreszeit zu sogenannten episodischen Bedingungen führen. ARPAV-CMT hat kürzlich ein Netzwerk von Grenzschichtprofilern installiert, das aus vier passiven Mikrowellenradiometern und aus vier SODAR-Geräten besteht. Die Finanzierung kam dabei vor allem aus dem DOCUP Projekt 2000–2006 (DOCumento Unico di Programmazione). Dieses Netzwerk wird vorgestellt und beispielhaft angewendet, um die PM10-Entwicklung für ein ganzes Jahr und für eine Episode mit hohen PM10-Konzentrationen zu analysieren. Insbesondere wird dabei die Beschreibung des PM10-Tagesgangs in Beziehung zu den Eigenschaften der atmosphärischen Stabilität gesetzt. Es wurde herausgefunden, dass PM10 stark von synoptisch-skaligem Antrieb moduliert wird und einen ausgeprägten Tagesgang besitzt, vor allem in synoptisch ungestörten Verhältnissen, wenn PM10 große Variationen in wenigen Stunden aufweisen kann. Ein Schema für die Interpretation des PM10-Tagesgangs während stabiler Hochdrucklagen wird vorgestellt, das den Tagesgang der Emissionen berücksichtigt. Es hält die fundamental verschiedenen PM10-Abbauprozesse in stabilen und instabilen Verhältnissen fest und unterstreicht die Wichtigkeit der atmosphärischen Stabilität zur Zeit des abendlichen Emissionsmaximums in der kalten Jahreszeit.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: October 1, 2007

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  • Meteorologische Zeitschrift (originally founded in 1866) is the joint periodical of the meteorological societies of Austria, Germany and Switzerland. It accepts high-quality peer-reviewed manuscripts on all aspects of observational, theoretical and computational research out of the entire field of meteorology, including climatology. Meteorologische Zeitschrift represents a natural forum for the meteorological community of Central Europe and worldwide.
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