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A GIS-Based Modal Model of Automobile Exhaust Emissions (PDF) (185 pp, 2.5 MB) November 2002


Suburban sprawl, population growth, and auto-dependency have, along with other factors, been linked to air pollution problems in U.S metropolitan areas. Addressing these problems becomes difficult when trying to accommodate the needs of a growing population and economy while simultaneously lowering or maintaining levels of ambient pollutants. Growing urban areas must, therefore, continually develop creative strategies to curb increased pollutant production.

This report presents progress towards the development of a computer tool called MEASURE, the Mobile Emission Assessment System for Urban and Regional Evaluation. The tool works towards a goal of providing researchers and planners with a means for assessing new mobile emission mitigation strategies. The model is based in a geographic information system (GIS) and uses modal emission rates, varying emissions according to vehicle technologies and modal operation (acceleration, deceleration, cruise, and idle). Estimates of spatially resolved fleet composition and activity are combined with situation-specific emission rates to predict engine start and running exhaust emissions. The estimates are provided at user-defined spatial scales. A demonstration of model operation is provided using a 100 square kilometer study area located in Atlanta, Georgia. Future mobile emissions modeling research needs are developed from an analysis of the sources of model error.


Frank Princiotta,

Office of Research & Development | National Risk Management Research Laboratory

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