Articles | Volume 4
06 Jun 2023
 | 06 Jun 2023

Land use influence on ambient PM2.5 and ammonia concentrations: Correlation analyses in the Lombardy region, Italy

Lorenzo Gianquintieri, Daniele Oxoli, Enrico Gianluca Caiani, and Maria Antonia Brovelli

Keywords: air quality, land use, agricultural emissions, correlation analysis

Abstract. Air pollution is identified as the primary environmental risk to health worldwide. Although most of the anthropic emissions are due to combustion processes, intensive farming activities may also contribute significantly, especially as a source of particulate matter 2.5 and ammonia. Investigations on particulate matter and precursors dynamics, identifying the most relevant environmental factors influencing their emissions, are critical to improving local and regional air quality policies. This work presents an analysis of the correlation between particulate matter 2.5 and ammonia concentrations, obtained from the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service, and local land use characteristics, to investigate the influence of agricultural activities on the space-time pollutant concentration patterns. The selected study area is the Lombardy region, northern Italy. Correlation is evaluated through Spearman’s coefficient. Agricultural areas resulted in a significant factor for high ammonia concentrations, while particulate matter 2.5 was strongly correlated with built-up areas. Natural areas resulted instead a protective factor for both pollutants. Results provide data-driven evidence of the land use effect on air quality, also quantifying such effects in terms of correlation coefficients magnitude.