Animations and explanation firework peaks Eindhoven 2015-2016

Again our partner Scapeler made animations of the air pollution measurements in Eindhoven during the fireworks tradition around newyear.

The animations are projected over town and one needs to know the layout of the city in order to zoom into specifics if interested. Here is the city map without animation:

For orientation purpose

For orientation purpose

You see the inner ring that surrounds the city´s center and the C shape motorways that border the outer limits of the city. All but one Airbox (this one is used for background measurement outside town) is locatied within this C. The network of 35 Airboxes is configured to get an as good as possible view of the human exposure to pollution.

Pollution measured in all Airboxes is PM 1, PM 2.5, PM 10. We also measure UFP (ultrafinedust) on 6 locations but no city representative video can be made of this. To get an idea of the size of particulate matter in microns we use this picture:

Using the thickness of a human hair as reference

Using the thickness of a human hair as reference

PM 1, 2.5 and 10 together this newyears eve:

Interesting to see the differences with last years animation. The differences are caused by weather type and changes in firework usages.

2014/2015 animation to compare:

This year Scapeler also made specific animations of the particle sizes:

PM 1: invisible for the human eye and cause of multiple disfunctions due to disturbing our cells causing infections, cancer and even genetic disorder.

PM 2.5: See the picture with the human hair

PM 10: Also refering to the picture

Interesting to observe is that different peaks occur at various moments that may be unexpected. That is because of individuals and groups that become active when they choose to do so. We measure at the same time the pollution coming from traffic and woodstoves. The `strange` peaks are therefore mostly found along the inner ring.

Fireworks air polution in Eindhoven

Three years in a row we have been able to look at our air pollution while celebrating the new year with the tradition of fireworks. We use our fine maze measurement network that was installed in December 2013. The first newyear was 2013/2014. The weather was miserable. It was rainy and windy. The related fireworks peak was therefor sharp high but disappeared rapidly again.

During newyear 2014/2015 the weather type was totally different. It was a quit and clear evening/night with hardly any wind. The fireworks could be lit from 18:00 onwards. A huge peak appeared that lasted for 16 hours. Partner Scapeler made a film of it:

This newyear the weather develop similar to the year before.

Clear and quit night in Eindhoven 31.12.2015

Clear and quit night in Eindhoven 31.12.2015

We expected a new long peak again but the contrary was true. The measurements were much more like the first year. This was surprising.

Ultrafine particles

Ultrafine particles

What justified the rapid disappearance of the peaks. Only direct observation could perhaps provide clues. As it seemed this year there were two reason to justify change:

  1. People had massively decided to start using other type of fireworks. More fancy flares were used rather that the strong explosives. The flares seemed to produce less air pollution than the enormous clouds of dust produced by the firework boms.
  2. There seemed to be less usage of fireworks than other years. Was this because of the awareness campaign of AiREAS and other media? Or are other reasons possible?

There will be of course a combination of factors that explains this phenomenum but interesting it is indeed and show that complexity we phase at level 4 regional development based on core values.

Newyear 2015/2016

Newyear 2015/2016