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Assessment of the variability of atmospheric pollution in National Parks of mainland Spain

Escudero, M., Lozano, A., Hierro, J., Tapia, O., del Valle, J., Alastuey, A., Moreno, T., Anzano, J., Querol, Xavier
Atmospheric environment 2016 v.132 pp. 332-344
air pollution, air quality, atmospheric chemistry, emissions, geographical variation, national parks, nitrogen content, nitrogen oxides, ozone, particulates, pollutants, seasonal variation, sulfur dioxide, summer, Spain
Air quality in nine National Parks in mainland Spain was assessed analysing SO2, NOx, O3, PM10 and PM2.5 data from background stations. As emissions in and around parks are limited, the levels of primary pollutants are low. Concentrations of secondary pollutants are high especially in summer due to photochemical production. The geographical variability of pollutants responds to regional emission patterns and the dominant circulation regimes in different regions resulting in west-east gradients for O3 and PM. Seasonal variability of pollutants was also interpreted in virtue of transport scenarios, changes in photochemical activity and emissions variability. NOx and SO2, maximize in winter due to higher emissions while O3 and PM do it in summer due to photochemical production, lower precipitation and, in the case of PM, the occurrence of African dust outbreaks. The diurnal evolution was interpreted in virtue of variability in emissions and changes in the Planetary Boundar Layer height.