Urban air quality, meteorology and traffic linkages: Evidence from a sixteen-day particulate matter pollution event in December 2015, Beijing

Dongmei Hu , Jianping Wu , Kun Tian , Lyuchao Liao , Ming Xu , Yiman Du


Received September 06, 2016,Revised December 06, 2016, Accepted January 24, 2017, Available online February 17, 2017

Volume 59,2017,Pages 30-38

A heavy 16-day pollution episode occurred in Beijing from December 19, 2015 to January 3, 2016. The mean daily AQI and PM2.5 were 240.44 and 203.6 μg/m3. We analyzed the spatiotemporal characteristics of air pollutants, meteorology and road space speed during this period, then extended to reveal the combined effects of traffic restrictions and meteorology on urban air quality with observational data and a multivariate mutual information model. Results of spatiotemporal analysis showed that five pollution stages were identified with remarkable variation patterns based on evolution of PM2.5 concentra-tion and weather conditions. Southern sites (DX, YDM and DS) experienced heavier pollution than northern ones (DL, CP and WL). Stage P2 exhibited combined functions of meteorology and traffic restrictions which were delayed peak-clipping effects on PM2.5. Mutual information values of Air quality–Traffic–Meteorology (ATM–MI) revealed that additive functions of traffic restrictions, suitable relative humidity and temperature were more effective on the removal of fine particles and CO than NO2.

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