Comparison between Local and Global Methods to Develop AQI in Representing the Spatial Pattern of Air Quality of Dhaka City
Keywords:Air Quality Index; Air Pollutants; Overlay Mapping; PM2.5
An Air Quality Index (AQI) is a means of evaluating air quality in respect to the relation between air quality and the entire environment of an area. The main objective of the study was to compare the development of AQI using global methods and local methods to identify which could represent the more significant pattern from a spatial perspective in Dhaka city (DNCC and DSCC). The pollutants used in this study are CO, NO2, SO2, O3, CH4, CO2, PM2.5 and PM10. For the global AQI, indexing was performed using the guidelines in ‘Technical Assistance Document for the Reporting of Daily Air Quality – the Air Quality Index’ by USEPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency). This method identified and mapped the most responsible pollutant that represents the pollution pattern of the area. For local AQI, an overlay method was developed where all the relevant pollutants were weighed according to their significance and summed; their weights calculated using a Principal Component Analysis (PCA). Component analysis could find a better-correlated variable to represent the distribution from all the variables, deeming it a good feature-selecting tool. The result from this study suggests that the local AQI better represents the air quality of the study corresponding to certain real scenarios. Mapping the pollution has helped in validating the spatial pattern of the pollutants. Such methods, which include all the variables influencing the atmospheric dynamics, could establish a better pattern for the local environment. The temporal background of the factors could be considered as situations may change over time. For air quality, this could be performed with any variables apart from atmospheric constituents and can be even replicated for any component of the environment, which may help in comprehending the local environmental quality. The study would be useful to devise a proper system to develop AQI considering all the spatial and temporal effects.
The Dhaka University Journal of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Vol. 11(1), 2022: 131-149
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