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Anthropogenic and biogenic activities result in significant emission of pollutants which, paralleled by very specific meterological conditions such as high insulation rates and frequent fog episodes, make the Po Valley region a very unique place for studying atmospheric chemistry processes. The present report is a review of the published literature concerning the behaviour of atmospheric pollutants in the Po Valley, from their emission to their subsequent removal. It includes recent estimates on emission inventories for major chemical species and focuses on the atmospheric measurements performed both in urban areas and rural sites. Analytical methodologies and typical concentrations, as well as physicochemical transformation of atmospheric species in the Po Valley are discussed. Finally, it reports on the studies regarding removal processes for the major pollutants and their effective deposition rates from wet, dry and occult depositions. Fairly reliable estimates on emission from combustion sources exist for the Po Valley. A very limited set of publications is available on biogenic emission of chemical compounds. Air monitoring networks have provided a fairly reliable view of the temporal fluctuations of major pollutants in urban areas, but routine measurements from semirural sites are available from only 2 stations and very few studies have investigated specific aspects of the atmospheric transformation of chemical compounds. A fairly good set of publications is available on the behaviour of tropospheric ozone in both Alpine regions and on the Adriatic coast, and on the multiphase chemical processes taking place in radiative fog droplets. A clear understanding of the atmospheric cycles of pollutants in the Po Valley is still limited by large uncertainties associated to dry deposition estimates.

Additional information

Authors: LAJ P, Modena (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 16044 EN (1994) 49pp., FS
Availability: Available from the Public Relations and Publications Unit, JRC Ispra, I-21020 Ispra (IT)
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