Tropospheric Ozone (O3) Behaviour in Rural Areas of Italy


1Department of Agro Environment & Ecology, Agricultural University of Tirana, Albania

2Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto, Portugal

*Corresponding author  e-mail:        

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Tropospheric Ozone (O3) is one of the most important pollutants in the atmosphere, causing some damage to human health, climate, vegetation and materials. This pollutant presents different behaviours in urban and rural environments. High levels of nitrogen oxides (precursor of O3) in urban areas have an important role in photochemical production of O3 in the atmosphere. However, O3 concentrations tend to be higher in rural areas. For better understanding this phenomenon, the O3 data at 52 rural sites in Italy were analysed in this study. It aimed the assessment of the trend and distribution of O3 concentrations; the evaluation of the exceedances of the standard values for human health protection; the analysis of the daily maximum values of O3 concentrations at all monitoring sites; the analysis of the annual average profiles of O3 concentrations; the application of cluster analysis to group the monitoring sites according to the respective O3 behaviour. The ongoing environmental monitoring data obtained from 52 monitoring stations during the period 2008-2012 were used in this study and the O3 data analysis was performed for each year of the mentioned period. It concluded from the results that the O3 concentration at the different rural sites and the daily the maximum concentrations had different behaviour over the study period. Cluster analysis divided the monitoring sites in six groups according to their O3 concentration behaviour. The observed differences for the different groups related to the geographical location and altitude of the monitoring sites. All these results will provide a physical basis for accurately predicting ozone concentration in extensive future research.

Keywords: O3 concentration; pollutant; cluster analysis.




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