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Spatial and temporal variations of air pollution over 41 cities of India during the COVID-19 lockdown period




  • Vadrevu, Krishna Prasad, Eaturu, Aditya, Biswas, Sumalika, Lasko, Kristofer, Sahu, Saroj, Garg, J. K. and Justice, Chris


  • Abstract In this study, we characterize the impacts of COVID-19 on air pollution using NO 2 and Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) from TROPOMI and MODIS satellite datasets for 41 cities in India. Specifically, our results suggested a 13% NO 2 reduction during the lockdown (March 25–May 3rd, 2020) compared to the pre-lockdown (January 1st–March 24th, 2020) period. Also, a 19% reduction in NO 2 was observed during the 2020-lockdown as compared to the same period during 2019. The top cities where NO 2 reduction occurred were New Delhi (61.74%), Delhi (60.37%), Bangalore (48.25%), Ahmedabad (46.20%), Nagpur (46.13%), Gandhinagar (45.64) and Mumbai (43.08%) with less reduction in coastal cities. The temporal analysis revealed a progressive decrease in NO 2 for all seven cities during the 2020 lockdown period. Results also suggested spatial differences, i.e., as the distance from the city center increased, the NO 2 levels decreased exponentially. In contrast, to the decreased NO 2 observed for most of the cities, we observed an increase in NO 2 for cities in Northeast India during the 2020 lockdown period and attribute it to vegetation fires. The NO 2 temporal patterns matched the AOD signal; however, the correlations were poor. Overall, our results highlight COVID-19 impacts on NO 2 , and the results can inform pollution mitigation efforts across different cities of India.

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Publication Date

  • 2020



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  • 16574


  • 10


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