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Effect of the land use change characteristics on the air pollution patterns above the Greater Athens area (GAA) after 2004

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Pages :
169 - 177

Fameli K.M. Assimakopoulos V.D. Kotroni V.
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The Attica Peninsula has experienced the rapid expansion of the Athens urban area, prior to the Athens 2004 Olympics. As a result, the distribution of pollutant sources and emission patterns has changed with a subsequent effect on the distribution of photochemical pollutants and aerosols. The purpose of the present work is to perform a comparative study of the land use changes in the rapidly developing Attica Peninsula including the Greater Athens Area (GAA) before and after 2004, the year that the Olympic Games took place, as well as of the effect of these changes on the respective pollutant distribution profiles. The land use data were provided by USGS Global Land Use/Land Cover version 2.0 Database and the updating process was fulfilled with the help of a satellite image. The area was divided into cells using a spatial resolution of 5x5 km2. Results showed that the urban grid has expanded considerably the past fifteen years while a great shift of population has been made to the eastern area of Attica. Also, new towns were created while others expanded and many factories moved out of the center of the city of Athens. Moreover, the forest land has decreased considerably in the Attica Peninsula either by continuous and extended fires or by the residential burst. The Comprehensive Air Quality Model with extensions (CAMx) was used in order to estimate O3 distribution during a recorded pollution episode. Results revealed that land use changes affected slightly the O3 concentrations and the development of a new emission inventory related to the new LULC field is necessary.