Urban vegetation and particle air pollution: Experimental campaigns in a traffic hotspot

F. J. Gómez-Moreno, B. Artíñano, E. Díaz Ramiro, M. Barreiro, L. Núñez, E. Coz, C. Dimitroulopoulou, S. Vardoulakis, C. Yagüe, G. Maqueda, M. Sastre, C. Román-Cascón, J. M. Santamaría, R. Borge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


This work presents the main results of two experimental campaigns carried out in summer and winter seasons in a complex pollution hotspot near a large park, El Retiro, in Madrid (Spain). These campaigns were aimed at understanding the microscale spatio-temporal variation of ambient concentration levels in areas with high pollution values to obtain data to validate models on the effect of urban trees on particulate matter concentrations. Two different measuring approaches have been used. The first one was static, with instruments continuously characterizing the meteorological variables and the particulate matter concentration outside and inside the park. During the summer campaign, the particulate matter concentration was clearly influenced by a Saharan dust outbreak during the period 23 June to 10 July 2016, when most of the particulate matter was in the fraction PM2.5-10. During the winter campaign, the mass concentrations were related to the meteorological conditions and the high atmospheric stability. The second approach was a dynamic case with mobile measurements by portable instruments. During the summer campaign, a DustTrak instrument was used to measure PM10 and PM2.5 in different transects close to and inside the park at different distances from the traffic lane. It was observed a decrease in the concentrations up to 25% at 20 m and 50% at 200 m. High PM10 values were linked to dust resuspension caused by recreational activities and to a Saharan dust outbreak. The highest PM values were measured at the Independencia square, an area with many bus stops and high traffic density. During the winter campaign, three microaethalometers were used for Black Carbon measurement. Both pollutants also showed a reduction in their concentrations when moving towards inside the park. For PM10 and PM2.5, reductions up to 50% were observed, while for BC this reduction was smaller, about 20%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-205
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019
Externally publishedYes


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