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Conference Papers Year : 2013

A multi-media approach to environmental impacts of road traffic in urban areas


Road traffic pollutants are a cause of major concern in urban areas. In fact, traffic generated emissions are degrading air quality up to the point where the physical health of the citizens is directly threatened (in particular NOx, Sox, metals, microparticles..). Moreover, they contribute to a local and global deterioration of other environmental media by affecting for example water quality (in particular metals, PAH, aliphatic hydrocarbons). Even if all traffic pollutants are not a matter of concern for both air and water, some of them are in common between these media or linked by their vectors (for example particles). It justifies the need to try to treat jointly air and surface water impacts of road traffic emissions. The present work focuses on the development of a modeling platform linking traffic, emission, atmospheric dispersion and water fate of road pollutants. At the moment, the modeling chain begins with the traffic model output that serves as input for the pollutant emission model. Then the emission is considered as a lineic source and the pollutant dispersion is simulated with a Gaussian dispersion model in the atmosphere. Wet and dry depositions link that to the build-up and to the pollutant transport on urban surfaces during rainy events using an urban hydrological model. The main scientific challenge lies in evaluating the appropriate scales at which the global platform can give reliable results and by adopting different strategies to model each component of the model depending on the chosen spatial and temporal scales. Priority pollutants are sometimes different between the air and water environment, which may cause insufficient data and knowledge of pollutant emissions for water pollutants. Therefore, different emission or traffic components are available on the platform, depending on the scales or the nature of the pollutants that are simulated. Finally, the resolutions of the atmospheric and hydrological models are adapted to the emission knowledge and to the scale of observations. To illustrate the talk, some results from different case studies will be shown (Cours Lafayette, Viry Chatillon and Sucy catchments). At any time, the interest of these results with regard to the urban environment will be discussed. In particular, some scenarios may be tested with the platform: the impact of changes in the composition of the vehicle park or the occurrence of different meteorological conditions or urban design options on air or water quality. In conclusion, this attempt to implement a full modeling chain highlights the lake and the need of appropriate data in this field and opens the perspective of a new coupled traffic-air-water modeling field in urban areas.
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Dates and versions

hal-00818305 , version 1 (26-04-2013)


  • HAL Id : hal-00818305 , version 1


Céline Bonhomme, Masoud Fallahshorshani, Michel André, Christian Seigneur. A multi-media approach to environmental impacts of road traffic in urban areas. Colloque International Futurs urbains, Jan 2013, Champs-sur-Marne, Marne-La-Vallée, France. ⟨hal-00818305⟩
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