First results of the Megacity project – Moscow

Panarama from Moscow city. Photo credit: Olga Popovicheva

In the complex situation of the plurality of emissions, an important research task remains in the Moscow megacity environment for assessment of the air quality and potential sources through aerosol composition analyses. Comprehensive synergetic Project “Integrated technology for environment assessment of Moscow megacity based on chemical analysis of microparticle composition in the “atmosphere – snow – road dust – soil – surface water” system (Megacity) is on-going in Moscow State University, supported by RSF grant #19773004. The key purpose of this project is the development of technologies for the chemical analysis of multicomponent aerosols, the identification of their sources for the assessment of pollution and the environmental condition of Moscow metropolis. The first results relate to Spring aerosol in urban atmosphere of megacity: analytical and statistical assessment for source impacts, a paper just published in Aerosol and Air Quality. 

Popovicheva, O., Padoan, S., Schnelle- Kreis, J., Nguyen, D.L., Adam, T., Kistler, M., Steinkogler, T., Kasper-Giebl, A., Zimmermann, R. and Chubarova, N. (2020). Spring Aerosol in Urban Atmosphere of Megacity: Analytical and Statistical Assessment for Source Impacts. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 20:702-719. https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.2019.08.0412

Light absorption, PM10 mass concentration, aerosol composition, and meteorological parameters have been measured in the urban background of the Moscow megacity in spring 2017, in a period characterized by significant changes of air temperature, mass advection, and solar radiation. Organic compounds, elemental carbon (OC, EC), water-soluble ionic species, including K+ marker of biomass burning, are quantified for carbonaceous and inorganic aerosol composition. Correlation between spectral absorption coefficient and levoglucosan concentrations identify the relative contribution of agricultural fires and residential biomass burning around a city to urban aerosol composition. Combining the attentive analytical and statistical approaches, representative chemical compounds are developed to describe the highest quantity of variability, evaluated together with the highest analytical validity of chemical compounds. Principal component analyses highlight the main factors from marker species relating to gasoline/diesel traffic, BB, biogenic activity, and secondary formation in the atmosphere. Identification of BB-affected periods discriminates the daily aerosol composition change with respect to air mass transportation and number of fires detected in the surrounding area of the Moscow megacity.  

Text by Dr. Olga Popovicheva, Skobeltsyn Institute of Nuclear Physics, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia

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