Control of ozone precursors in a complex industrial terrain by using multiscale-nested air quality models with fine spatial resolution (1 km2)

Pedro Jiménez, Rene Parra, José M. Baldasano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The location of the northeastern Iberian Peninsula (NEIP) in the northwestern Mediterranean basin, the presence of the Pyrenees mountain range (with altitudes >3000 m), and the influence of the Mediterranean Sea and the large valley canalization of Ebro river induce an extremely complicated structure for the dispersion of photochemical pollutants. Air pollution studies in very complex terrains such as the NEIP require high-resolution modeling for resolving the very complex dynamics of flows. To deal with the influence of larger-scale transport, however, high-resolution models have to be nested in larger models to generate appropriate initial and boundary conditions for the finer resolution domains. This article shows the results obtained through the utilization of the MM5-EMICAT2000-CMAQ multiscale-nested air quality model relating the sensitivity regimes for ozone (O3)-nitrogen oxides (NOx)-volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in an area of high geographical complexity, like the industrial area of Tarragona, located in the NEIP. The model was applied with fine temporal (one-hour) and spatial resolution (cells of 24 km, 2 km, and 1 km) to represent the chemistry and transport of tropospheric O3 and other photochemical species with respect to different hypothetical scenarios of emission controls and to quantify the influence of different emission sources in the area. Results indicate that O3 chemistry in the industrial domain of Tarragona is strongly sensitive to VOCs; the higher percentages of reduction for ground-level O3 are achieved when reducing by 25% the emissions of industrial VOCs. On the contrary, reductions in the industrial emissions of NOx contribute to a strong increase in hourly peak levels of O3. At the same time, the contribution of on-road traffic and biogenic emissions to ground-level O3 concentrations in the area is negligible with respect to the pervasive weight of industrial sources. This analysis provides an assessment of the effectiveness of different policies for the control of emission of precursors by comparing the modeled results for different scenarios.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1085-1099
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of the Air and Waste Management Association
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2005
Externally publishedYes


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