Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Adasme C., Villalobos A.M., Jorquera H. (2022)

Spatiotemporal Analysis of Black Carbon Sources: Case of Santiago, Chile, under SARS-CoV-2 Lockdowns

Revista : International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volumen : 19
Número : 24
Páginas : 17064
Tipo de publicación : ISI Ir a publicación


Background: The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has temporarily decreased black carbon emissions worldwide. The use of multi-wavelength aethalometers provides a quantitative apportionment of black carbon (BC) from fossil fuels (BCff) and wood-burning sources (BCwb). However, this apportionment is aggregated: local and non-local BC sources are lumped together in the aethalometer results. Methods: We propose a spatiotemporal analysis of BC results along with meteorological data, using a fuzzy clustering approach, to resolve local and non-local BC contributions. We apply this methodology to BC measurements taken at an urban site in Santiago, Chile, from March through December 2020, including lockdown periods of different intensities. Results: BCff accounts for 85% of total BC; there was up to an 80% reduction in total BC during the most restrictive lockdowns (April–June); the reduction was 40–50% in periods with less restrictive lockdowns. The new methodology can apportion BCff and BCwb into local and non-local contributions; local traffic (wood burning) sources account for 66% (86%) of BCff (BCwb). Conclusions: The intensive lockdowns brought down ambient BC across the city. The proposed fuzzy clustering methodology can resolve local and non-local contributions to BC in urban zones.