A methodological framework for improving air quality monitoring network layout. Applications to environment management

David Galán-Madruga


Received March 02, 2020,Revised , Accepted September 07, 2020, Available online September 30, 2020

Volume 102,2021,Pages 138-147

This work aims to provide a methodology framework which allows to improve the performance and efficiency of an air quality monitoring network (AQMN). It requires to be constituted by a minimum and reliable number of measurement sites. Nevertheless, the AQMN efficiency should be assessed over time, as a consequence of the possible emergence of new emission sources of air pollutants, which could lead to variations on their spatial distribution within the target area. PM10 particles data monitored by the Community of Madrid's (Spain) AQMN between 2008 and 2017 were used to develop a methodology to optimize the AQMN performance. The annual spatial distribution of average PM10 levels over the studied period monitored by all current stations vs those more representative was provided by a geographic information system (GIS), and the percentage of similarity between both postulates was quantified using simple linear regression (> 95%). As one innovative tool of this study, the practical application of the proposed methodology was validated using PM10 particles data measured by AQMN during 2007 and 2018, reaching a similitude degree higher than 95%. The influence of temporal variation on the proposed methodological framework was around 20%.The proposed methodology sets criteria for identifying non-redundant stations within AQMN, it is also able to appropriately assess the representativeness of fixed monitoring sites within an AQMN and it complements the guidelines set by European legislation on air pollutants monitoring at fixed stations, which could help to tackle efforts to improve the air quality management.

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