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An Investigation into the Origins of a Series of PM10 Anomalies at a Remote Location in NW England.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2008
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Environmental Monitoring
Issue number9
Number of pages8
Pages (from-to)1033-1040
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Throughout 2004, PM10 concentrations were measured at 10-minute intervals at Hazelrigg, a remote location in NW England. The annual mean concentration was 6.1 μg m-3 and likely origins were determined using directional and particle size characteristics. The fine temporal resolution of the monitoring also allowed several short periods (< 20 hours) of persistently high PM10 concentration to be identified and then ‘typed’ by the event start time, duration, wind direction and particle size characteristics. A series of night-time PM10 anomalies (concentration < 465 μg m-3) of no obvious source were identified, and by elimination assumed to have originated from a ground-based fire of particle-rich fodder. A novel methodology combining Stokes’ Law with systematic and rigorous modelling of source strength (using ADMS3.2) was developed to locate a possible burn site. The process was limited by the lack of previous modelling studies related to ground-based fires, and also by the capacity of ADMS3.2 to model sub-hourly time-varying emissions and fluctuations in wind speed and direction in the near field. However, modelling did suggest the source was located < 400 m SSE of Hazelrigg, and investigation of this area revealed a burn site where tyres and plastic bags were piled nearby. Few studies have combined directional analysis and modelling to locate a source based on sampled data. This inovative methodology could be used by regulatory bodies to investigate the origins of unidentified PM10 observed within the particle record.