Case studies of HM pollution assessment (EMEP/TFMM)


Assessment of heavy metal airborne pollution of the environment involves different aspects including estimates of atmospheric emissions, monitoring of pollution levels and application of chemical transport models. However, European-scale assessment is complicated by a number of factors. First of all, available regular measurements of heavy metals only partly cover the EMEP domain. Besides, estimates of heavy metal emissions are often characterized by significant uncertainty and unaccounted emission sources [ECE/EB.AIR/GE.1/2008/6]. In addition, modelling of heavy metal pollution includes parameterisation of the pollutants re-suspension with wind-blown dust which requires detailed gridded specific information and contains considerable uncertainty. In order to improve the assessment MSC-E and EMEP/TFMM organized special country-specific case study on a complex investigation of heavy metal pollution in one or a few EMEP countries involving all available information on European, national and local scales. The experience which will be gained in this case study could be applied to other EMEP countries.

  • Detailed assessment of heavy metal pollution with fine spatial resolution
  • Evaluation of effect of spatial resolution on the assessment results
  • Analysis of factors affecting quality of pollution assessment
  • Improvement of the assessment means (model, measurements, emissions data) for EMEP region based on the experience gained in country-specific studies.

MSC-E, national experts, CCC, CCE. TFMM assists in the evaluation of the results of the Case studies. Germany, Poland, Belarus, Czech Republic, Croatia, the Netherlands and Spain participated in the country-specific studies.


General scheme of the case study includes several steps. First of all, necessary initial data on emissions, monitoring, meteorological and geophysical information are prepared. These data are used as input to atmospheric transport model. The calculation results, model parameterizations, monitoring data, emission information are analysed in detail in co-operation with national experts. On the base of the results of the analysis the components (emissions, monitoring information, modelling) of the assessment is improved. New round of calculations have to be carried out and improved heavy metal pollution assessment for a country will be produced.

The activities under the case study are organized into six work packages:

WP1. Emission data preparation for modelling and analysis.
WP2. Collection and analysis of monitoring data for pollution assessment.
WP3. Preparation of input geophysical and meteorological data for modelling and modification of the model.
WP4. Atmospheric modelling.
WP5. Complex analysis of modelling results.
WP6. Improved model assessment of pollution levels in a country.

General description of each of the work package is given here. For each country-participant the Case Study programme differs depending on country`s requests and availability of initial information.

Expected output for a country

Depending on the availability of initial information and specific requests of a country-participant, items of output information for a country may differ. General country-related information can include the following:

  • Calculated concentrations and deposition with high (e.g., 10x10 km) spatial resolution
  • Contributions of administrative regions and neighbouring countries to pollution levels
  • Contributions of global sources to country`s pollution levels (for Hg)
  • Contributions of source categories to pollution levels
  • Contributions of large point sources to pollution levels
  • Critical loads exceedances maps
  • Simulations based on national future emission scenarios