A national method for predicting environmental pollution

Baverstock, Suzie Jane (1989). A national method for predicting environmental pollution. PhD thesis The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.0000decc


Area based prediction methods are developed for the noise indices LAeq, LA10 and LA90 and winter and annual measures of sulphur dioxide air pollution concentrations. The research examines the relationships between these pollutant variables and a number of key demographic predictor variables. The demographic variables considered include:

- traffic density

- road network density and

- land use

for predicting noise and

- land use and,

- whether an area is subject to smoke control

for predicting sulphur dioxide concentrations.

Data from the National Survey of Smoke and Sulphur Dioxide, a noise survey of Milton Keynes, Bexley and the West Midland regions and noise data supplied by Open University undergraduate students studying the course T234 'Environmental Control and Public Health' have been used to calibrate and test the proposed theoretical prediction models partially. Two forms of prediction model are presented namely prediction matrices and linear multivariate regression models.

The main findings of the research are:

1. That LAeq, LA10 and LA90 can be predicted using industrial land use and traffic density but there are regional differences in noise which are unaccounted for by these variables.

2. That the variability of noise (LA10 - LA90) is related to traffic density.

3. Measures of sulphur dioxide are related to both land use and whether an area is subject to a smoke control order and there are no significant regional differences unaccounted for by these predictor variables (East Anglia excluded). Regression equations are presented which predict sulphur dioxide concentrations with accuracies of between ±1.84 µg/m3 and ±4.36 µg/m3. However, the results from the detailed study of the Midland, North East and North West regions indicate that there is an interaction between the region and smoke control variables.

4. The ratio of Smoke/SO2 is related to whether of not an area is subject to smoke control.

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