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Assessment of Spatial Variability across Multiple Pollutants in Auckland, New Zealand

Longley, Ian and Tunno, Brett and Somervell, Elizabeth and Edwards, Sam and Olivares, Gustavo and Gray, Sally and Coulson, Guy and Cambal, Leah and Roper, Courtney and Chubb, Lauren and Clougherty, Jane E. (2019) Assessment of Spatial Variability across Multiple Pollutants in Auckland, New Zealand. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16 (9). p. 1567. ISSN 1660-4601

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Spatial saturation studies using source-specific chemical tracers are commonly used to examine intra-urban variation in exposures and source impacts, for epidemiology and policy purposes. Most such studies, however, has been performed in North America and Europe, with substantial regional combustion-source contributions. In contrast, Auckland, New Zealand, a large western city, is relatively isolated in the south Pacific, with minimal impact from long-range combustion sources. However, fluctuating wind patterns, complex terrain, and an adjacent major port complicate pollution patterns within the central business district (CBD). We monitored multiple pollutants (fine particulate matter (PM2.5), black carbon (BC), elemental composition, organic diesel tracers (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), hopanes, steranes), and nitrogen dioxide (NO2)) at 12 sites across the ~5 km2 CBD during autumn 2014, to capture spatial variation in traffic, diesel, and proximity to the port. PM2.5 concentrations varied 2.5-fold and NO2 concentrations 2.9-fold across the CBD, though constituents varied more dramatically. The highest-concentration constituent was sodium (Na), a distinct non-combustion-related tracer for sea salt (µ = 197.8 ng/m3 (SD = 163.1 ng/m3)). BC, often used as a diesel-emissions tracer, varied more than five-fold across sites. Vanadium (V), higher near the ports, varied more than 40-fold across sites. Concentrations of most combustion-related constituents were higher near heavy traffic, truck, or bus activity, and near the port. Wind speed modified absolute concentrations, and wind direction modified spatial patterns in concentrations (i.e., ports impacts were more notable with winds from the northeast).


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Longley, Ian
Tunno, Brett
Somervell, Elizabeth
Edwards, Sam
Olivares, Gustavo
Gray, Sally
Coulson, Guy
Cambal, Leah
Roper, Courtney
Chubb, Lauren
Clougherty, Jane E.
Date: 5 May 2019
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume: 16
Number: 9
Publisher: MDPI AG
Page Range: p. 1567
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.3390/ijerph16091567
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Environmental and Occupational Health
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: particle composition, spatial saturation, source identification, shipping emissions
ISSN: 1660-4601
Official URL:
Funders: NIWA, University of Pittsburgh Department of Environmental and Occupational Health
Article Type: Research Article
Date Deposited: 31 May 2022 15:07
Last Modified: 31 May 2022 15:07


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