Investigation of air pollution concentration in Kathmandu valley during winter season

KONDO Akira , KAGA Akikazu , IMAMURA Kiyoshi , INOUE Yoshio , SUGISAWA Masahiko , SHRESTHA Manohar Lal , SAPKOTA Balkrishan


Received ,Revised , Accepted , Available online

Volume 17,2005,Pages 1008-1013

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The monthly concentrations of NO2, NOx, SO2 and O3 measured by a passive sampler from February 2003 to January 2004showed that the air pollution during the winter season in Kathmandu valley was higher than the summer season. The O3 level was found the highest during April, May and June due to strong radiation. The hourly concentrations of NO2, NOx, O3 and suspended particulate matter(SPM) were also measured by automatic instruments on December 2003. Temperature at the height of 60 m and 400 m at Raniban Mountain in the northwest of Kathmandu valley was measured on February 2001 in the winter season and the average potential temperature gradient was estimated from observed temperature. Wind speed was also measured at the department of hydrology, airport section, from 18 February to 6 March 2001. It was found that the stable layer and the calm condition in the atmosphere strongly affected the appearance of the maximum concentrations of NO2 and SPM in the morning, and that the unstable layer and the windy condition in the atmosphere was considerably relevant to the decrease of air pollution concentrations at daytime. The emission amounts of NOx, HCs and total suspended particle(TSP) from transport sector in 2003 were estimated from the increasing rate of vehicles on the basis of the emission amounts in 1993 to be 3751 t/a, 30570 t/a and 1317 t/a, respectively. The diurnal concentrations in 2003 calculated by the two-layers box model reproduced the characteristics of air pollution in Kathmandu valley such as the maximum value of O3 and its time, the maximum value of NO in the morning, and the decrease of NO and NO2 at daytime. The comparison with the concentrations in 1993 calculated suggested that the main cause of air pollution was the emission from transport sector.

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