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Title: A breath of fresh air the use of geographic information systems for the sustainable management of air quality in Malta
Authors: Attard, Johann
Keywords: Geographic information systems -- Malta
Air quality -- Malta
Air -- Pollution -- Malta
Issue Date: 2014
Abstract: Growing concern over human health and environmental issues related to air quality requires the EU member states to monitor a range of air pollutants and fall in line with limit values. For this reason two air monitoring systems have been set up in the Maltese Islands. These are run by Malta Environment and Planning Authority and measure for a number of pollutants. An analysis of the data collected so far shows that in the last decade, the introduction of cleaner fuels has led to a decrease in sulphur dioxide and benzene levels. Nonetheless, an increase in the volume of traffic has led to increases in the other air pollutants. Of these, particulate matter and ozone have been identified as the two main air pollutants of concern in Malta. Consequently, there is a dire need for reliable tools to model and manage air quality in Malta. For this purpose, the current study explores the use of Geographical Information Systems, namely, spatial interpolation to predicting air pollutants in unsampled locations. The influence of road traffic and other factors which impinge on the air pollutants‟ concentrations was analysed using the Pearson Product Moment Coefficient. Special attention was given to the sources and factors involving the above named two air pollutants of concern. The linear regression equation was also used to predict air pollutant levels from traffic volumes. Values calculated from these were then used to produce interpolated surfaces which were then evaluated for reliability. The main findings indicate Universal Kriging interpolation as producing more efficient estimations of unsampled concentrations. Road traffic is confirmed a main source of air pollution in Malta. Nonetheless, weather variables also have a significant effect. Hence, it is recommended that these sources be quantified and other modeling techniques be analysed.
Description: M.SC.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - InsCCSD - 2014

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