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Atmospheric electric field measurements in urban environment and the pollutant aerosol weekly dependence

Silva, H. G., Conceição, R., Melgão, M., Nicoll, K., Mendes, P. B., Tlemçani, M., Reis, A. H. and Harrison, R. G. (2014) Atmospheric electric field measurements in urban environment and the pollutant aerosol weekly dependence. Environmental Research Letters, 9 (11). 114025. ISSN 1748-9326

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To link to this article DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/9/11/114025

Abstract/Summary

The weekly dependence of pollutant aerosols in the urban environment of Lisbon (Portugal) is inferred from the records of atmospheric electric field at Portela meteorological station (38°47′N,9°08′W). Measurements were made with a Bendorf electrograph. The data set exists from 1955 to 1990, but due to the contaminating effect of the radioactive fallout during 1960 and 1970s, only the period between 1980 and 1990 is considered here. Using a relative difference method a weekly dependence of the atmospheric electric field is found in these records, which shows an increasing trend between 1980 and 1990. This is consistent with a growth of population in the Lisbon metropolitan area and consequently urban activity, mainly traffic. Complementarily, using a Lomb–Scargle periodogram technique the presence of a daily and weekly cycle is also found. Moreover, to follow the evolution of theses cycles, in the period considered, a simple representation in a colour surface plot representation of the annual periodograms is presented. Further, a noise analysis of the periodograms is made, which validates the results found. Two datasets were considered: all days in the period, and fair-weather days only.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:38555
Publisher:Institute of Physics

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