Combined Use of Models and Measurements for Spatial Mapping of Concentrations and Deposition of Pollutants
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When modelling pollutants in the atmosphere, it is nearly impossible to get perfect results as the chemical and mechanical processes that govern pollutant concentrations are complex. Results are dependent on the quality of the meteorological input as well as the emissions inventory used to run the model. Also, models cannot currently take every process into consideration. Therefore, the model may get results that are close to, or show the general trend of the observed values, but are not perfect. However, due to the lack of observation stations, the resolution of the observational data is poor. Furthermore, the chemistry over large bodies of water is different from land chemistry, and in North America, there are no stations located over the great lakes or the ocean. Consequently, the observed values cannot accurately cover these regions. Therefore, we have combined model output and observational data when studying ozone concentrations in north eastern North America. We did this by correcting model output at observational sites with local data. We then interpolated those corrections across the model grid, using a Kriging procedure, to produce results that have the resolution of model results with the local accuracy of the observed values. Results showed that the corrected model output is much improved over either model results or observed values alone. This improvement was observed both for sites that were used in the correction process as well as sites that were omitted from the correction process.