DISPERSION OF ATMOSPHERIC COARSE PARTICULATE MATTER IN THE SAN LUIS POTOSÍ, MEXICO, URBAN AREA

Luis F. Pineda-Martínez, Noel Carbajal, Arturo Campos-Ramos, Antonio Aragón-Piña, Agustin R. Garcia

Abstract

Atmospheric pollution in urban areas of Mexico has become a serious problem. The study of spatio-temporal evolution of concentrations of particulate matter is an important issue. A total of 188 samples were randomly collected at 24-hour running time within the period from May 2003 to April 2004 for the San Luis Potosí urban area, located in the central-north part of México, using quartz fiber filters. A series of numerical modeling experiments were conducted for the same period of measurements to investigate particulate matter (PM) concentrations in the above-mentioned urban area. Although there is a considerable annual variability in the atmospheric circulation, the analysis of results indicates preferential seasonal circulation patterns: southwesterly winds during winter and southeasterly during summer. High concentration values of particulate matter were closely associated to local characteristics of the atmospheric circulation. A net transport from the industrial zone into the urban area is one of most important outcomes of the investigation.

Keywords

Particulate matter, dispersion model, particle characterization, air quality

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