Investigation of 2021 wildfire impacts on air quality in southwestern Turkey

Merve Eke, Fulya Cingiroglu, Burcak Kaynak*

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In the summer of 2021, unusually intense wildfires happened in southwestern Turkey, especially in Antalya and Mugla with destroying effects on forests, wildlife, and communities residing there. This study aims to understand the air quality impacts of these wildfires. A time period (June–September 2021) covering pre-, fire, and post-periods was investigated using NO2 ground-based observations and TROPOMI CO, HCHO, and NO2 satellite retrievals along with VIIRS FRP. Eight fire regions were selected for detailed analysis in Antalya (An-1-2), Mugla (Mu-1-4), and Mersin (Me-1-2). The highest fire intensity was found in An-1 and followed by Mu-1. CO also showed strongest signals over An-1 (6.73 × 1018 molecules/cm2) with highest levels (1.44 × 1019 molecules/cm2) in the downwind of the wildfires. NO2 showed fire signals in or in very close proximity to the fire regions with strongest signal and largest impact area in An-1 (>8.75 × 1016 molecules/cm2). HCHO showed a different pattern due to HCHO undergoing chemical production and loss in the wildfire plume. HCHO highest levels were not observed over the fire regions, but inside the transported plume with maximum levels for An-1 (3.60 × 1016 molecules/cm2) and for An-2 (3.23 × 1016 molecules/cm2). CO and NO2 increase continued not only in fire, but also in post-fire period, whereas HCHO levels indicated decreases in post-fire compared to pre-fire period. The increases in column concentrations in fire period ranges from 17.6 to 123.1% for CO, 40.6–116.5% for HCHO and 34.4–294.5% for NO2. Higher increases were observed over the Mediterranean Sea especially for CO. Correlations with FRP indicated highest correlations with CO and NO2 and low correlations with HCHO. This study showed that the capability of sparse, ground-level air quality monitoring stations to capture wildfire impacts are limited in the region, because the plume transport was driven by wind direction and wildfire smoke plumes are elevated due to buoyancy. Satellite retrievals are better for capturing the wildfire plume transport and estimating the overall air quality impacts of wildfires.

Orijinal dilİngilizce
Makale numarası120445
DergiAtmospheric Environment
Yayın durumuYayınlandı - 15 May 2024

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© 2024 Elsevier Ltd

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