Articles | Volume 7, issue 1
Research article
28 Jan 2014
Research article |  | 28 Jan 2014

Application of mobile aerosol and trace gas measurements for the investigation of megacity air pollution emissions: the Paris metropolitan area

S.-L. von der Weiden-Reinmüller, F. Drewnick, M. Crippa, A. S. H. Prévôt, F. Meleux, U. Baltensperger, M. Beekmann, and S. Borrmann

Abstract. For the investigation of megacity emission development and the impact outside the source region, mobile aerosol and trace gas measurements were carried out in the Paris metropolitan area between 1 July and 31 July 2009 (summer conditions) and 15 January and 15 February 2010 (winter conditions) in the framework of the European Union FP7 MEGAPOLI project. Two mobile laboratories, MoLa and MOSQUITA, were deployed, and here an overview of these measurements and an investigation of the applicability of such measurements for the analysis of megacity emissions are presented. Both laboratories measured physical and chemical properties of fine and ultrafine aerosol particles as well as gas phase constituents of relevance for urban pollution scenarios. The applied measurement strategies include cross-section measurements for the investigation of plume structure and quasi-Lagrangian measurements axially along the flow of the city's pollution plume to study plume aging processes. Results of intercomparison measurements between the two mobile laboratories represent the adopted data quality assurance procedures. Most of the compared measurement devices show sufficient agreement for combined data analysis. For the removal of data contaminated by local pollution emissions a video tape analysis method was applied. Analysis tools like positive matrix factorization and peak integration by key analysis applied to high-resolution time-of-flight aerosol mass spectrometer data are used for in-depth data analysis of the organic particulate matter. Several examples, including a combination of MoLa and MOSQUITA measurements on a cross section through the Paris emission plume, are provided to demonstrate how such mobile measurements can be used to investigate the emissions of a megacity. A critical discussion of advantages and limitations of mobile measurements for the investigation of megacity emissions completes this work.