Application of network theory to study the spatio-temporal evolution in the ozone weekend effect in urban areas

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Iván Y. Hernández-Paniagua
Rodrigo López-Farías
Juan Antonio Pichardo-Corpus


The occurrence of higher ground-level O3 concentrations on weekends rather than on weekdays, despite reduced anthropogenic activity in urban areas, is known as the O3 weekend effect (OWE). We present here an approach to analyse OWE spatio-temporal variations in urban areas, integrated by the trend, prediction and network representation. We used data from ten monitoring sites geographically distributed within the Mexico City Metropolitan Area (MCMA) recorded during 1994-2018. The OWE occurrence within the MCMA ranged typically between 40 and 60 % of the total weeks per year. The annual differences between weekday and weekend O3 peaks (magnitudes) showed were most significant on Sundays. Naive, Linear and Auto-regressive Integrated Moving Average models were tested for predicting the OWE annual occurrences and magnitudes. There was no single model that outperformed significantly for predicting OWE at all sites. The proposed concept of generalised OWE (GOWE) implies that at least half of the sites under study exhibited simultaneous OWE occurrence. GOWE is represented as a network and its integration with prediction models is useful to determine the OWE spread over the MCMA in the following years. The GOWE occurrence showed an increasing trend interpreted as the spread of VOC-limited conditions over most of the MCMA. Predicted data suggest that, with the current emission control policies, the GOWE will continue occurring. The integrated methodology presented provides valuable insight into the design of potential air quality control strategies.


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