, Volume 92, Issue 1-2, pp 83-93
Date: 20 Sep 2005

Determination of O3-, CO- and PM10-transport in the metropolitan area of São Paulo, Brazil through synoptic-scale analysis of back trajectories

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This study is aimed to qualitatively analyze the impact of remote sources on air pollution in the Metropolitan Area of São Paulo (MASP). Air-mass back trajectories from June to August of 1999 were calculated using a three-dimensional kinematic trajectory model and grouped into trajectory clusters. Correlations of individual trajectory clusters with O3, CO and PM10 concentrations were determined. In this model, trajectories were obtained using the means of the three wind velocity components (U, V and W). The three-dimensional wind field was derived from the Regional Atmospheric Modeling System, and downscaling was employed. Coarse and fine nested grids (64-km and 16-km horizontal resolution, respectively) were used. Every 12 h (at 00 and 12 UTC), a back-trajectory ensemble, using the 64-km grid, was calculated for five defined endpoints at intervals of 0.5° N, S, E and W of the MASP (λ = 23° 33′S, ϕ = 46° 45′W), that last endpoint being centered in the MASP. To analyze cluster trajectories, the five trajectory ensembles from each day were allocated into one of four clusters (northeast, southeast, southwest or northwest quadrant) based on the origin of the trajectory over 4 days. Days on which all five trajectories originated from the same quadrant were classified as “core” days. Core day concentrations of CO, O3 and PM10 during the study period were evaluated. The results show that, during the study period, air-mass back trajectories in the MASP originated from all four quadrants: northeast (32%), southeast (12%), southwest (19%) and northwest (37%). Our analysis of back-trajectory clusters in the MASP suggests a transport to ambient air of O3 precursors and O3 from the northeast region, which is associated with agricultural activities involving biomass burning.