Regional modelling of particulate matter for the Netherlands

01-07-2009 | Publication

The natural contribution to particulate matter (PM) can now be calculated with a model for PM. Therefore, the LOTOS EUROS model was extended with a description of PM from sea salt and mineral dust. In addition, the formation of secondary organic particles from natural sources was included. The extended model allows for a more accurate assessment of PM levels, for both past and future years.

Natural and anthropogenic particulate matter; model calculations

The contribution from natural sources to particulate matter (PM) is an important part of PM10 concentrations in the Netherlands. The variations in natural PM concentrations across time and space, however, are rather uncertain. This is partly caused by the fact that models do not or only poorly include descriptions of these PM fractions. This report describes recent model developments which have been brought about as a result of the BOP research programme on PM.

The LOTOS-EUROS model has been further developed for PM by including (improved) parameterisations for the contribution of sea salt, mineral dust and biogenic secondary organic aerosol. In addition, a coupling was realised between the global air quality model TM5 and LOTOS EUROS. This coupling allowed for calculating the effects of global emission changes on European air quality. Finally, the LOTOS-EUROS model and the OPS model were tested in an inter-comparison, together with the EMEP model, for ammonium, nitrate and sulphate particles, which are chemically formed in the air from gases, and the fine primary particles, which are directly emitted. The extended model allowed for a more accurate assessment of PM levels, both for past and future years.

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The study was carried out by TNO, in cooperation with the RIVM and the PBL, as part of the Netherlands Research Program on Particulate Matter (BOP).