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Title: Ultrafine particles in four European urban environments: Results from a new continuous long-term monitoring network
Authors: Hofman, J.
Staelens, J.
Cordell, R.
Stroobants, C.
Zikova, N.
Hama, S. M. L.
Wyche, K. P.
Kos, G. P. A.
Van der Zee, S.
Smallbone, K. L.
Weijers, E. P.
Monks, P. S.
Roekens, E.
First Published: 20-Apr-2016
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Atmospheric Environment, 2016, 136, pp. 68-81 (14)
Abstract: o gain a better understanding on the spatiotemporal variation of ultrafine particles (UFPs) in urban environments, this study reports on the first results of a long-term UFP monitoring network, set up in Amsterdam (NL), Antwerp (BE), Leicester (UK) and London (UK). Total number concentrations and size distributions were assessed during 1–2 years at four fixed urban background sites, supplemented with mobile trailer measurements for co-location monitoring and additional short-term monitoring sites. Intra- and interurban spatiotemporal UFP variation, associations with commonly-monitored pollutants (PM, NOx and BC) and impacts of wind fields were evaluated. Although comparable size distributions were observed between the four cities, source-related differences were demonstrated within specific particle size classes. Total and size-resolved particle number concentrations showed clear traffic-related temporal variation, confirming road traffic as the major UFP contributor in urban environments. New particle formation events were observed in all cities. Correlations with typical traffic-related pollutants (BC and NOx) were obtained for all monitoring stations, except for Amsterdam, which might be attributable to UFP emissions from Schiphol airport. The temporal variation in particle number concentration correlated fairly weakly between the four cities (rs = 0.28−0.50, COD = 0.28−0.37), yet improved significantly inside individual cities (rs = 0.59−0.77). Nevertheless, considerable differences were still obtained in terms of particle numbers (20–38% for total particle numbers and up to 49% for size-resolved particle numbers), confirming the importance of local source contributions and the need for careful consideration when allocating UFP monitoring stations in heterogeneous urban environments.
DOI Link: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2016.04.010
ISSN: 1352-2310
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Creative Commons “Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives” licence CC BY-NC-ND, further details of which can be found via the following link: Archived with reference to SHERPA/RoMEO and publisher website.
Description: Supplementary data related to this article can be found at
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, College of Science and Engineering

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