Analysis of summer O3 in the Madrid air basin with the LOTOS-EUROS chemical transport model
De la Paz, David
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 19(22) : 14211-14232 (2019)
Tropospheric O-3 remains a major air-quality issue in the Mediterranean region. The combination of large anthropogenic emissions of precursors, transboundary contributions, a warm and dry aestival climate, and topographical features results in severe cases of photochemical pollution. Chemical transport models (CTMs) are essential tools for studying O-3 dynamics and for assessing mitigation measures, but they need to be evaluated specifically for each air basin. In this study, we present an optimisation of the LOTOS-EUROS CTM for the Madrid air basin. Five configurations using different meteorological datasets (from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecast, ECMWF; and the Weather Research and Forecasting Model, WRF), horizontal resolution and number of vertical levels were compared for July 2016. LOTOS-EUROS responded satisfactorily in the five configurations reproducing observations of surface O-3 with notable correlation and reduced bias and errors. However, the best-fit simulations for surface O-3 were obtained by increasing spatial resolution and using a large number of vertical levels to reproduce vertical transport phenomena and the formation of reservoir layers. Using the optimal configuration obtained in the evaluation, three characteristic events have been described: recirculation (REC) episodes and northern and southern advection (NAD and SAD, respectively) events. REC events were found to produce the highest O-3 due to the reduced ventilation associated with low wind speeds and the contribution of reservoir layers formed by vertical transport of O-3 formed near the surface in the previous days of the event. NAD events, usually associated with higher wind speeds, present the lowest ground-level O-3 concentrations in the region. During SAD episodes, external contributions along with low wind speeds allow O-3 to increase considerably but not as much as in REC events because steady southerly winds disperse local emissions and hinder the formation of reservoir layers.