Atmosphere (Nov 2022)

Establishing Correlation between Cruise Ship Activities and Ambient PM Concentrations in the Kotor Bay Area Using a Low-Cost Sensor Network

  • Radmila Gagic,
  • Maja Skuric,
  • Gordana Djukanovic,
  • Danilo Nikolic

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 13, no. 11
p. 1819


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The analysis of cruise ships is focusing on port areas where they may represent a significant source of anthropogenic emissions. In order to determine the correlation between cruise ship activities (hoteling and maneuvering) in ports with the ambient concentration of pollutants associated with marine diesel fuel combustion, the low-cost sensors are finding their market share due to lower prices compared to the referent ones. In this study, a network of four low-cost PM sensors was used to determine the correlation between ambient PM2.5 and PM10 mass concentrations with cruise ship activities in the Kotor Bay area during 27 days in the peak summer season, with a 10-min resolution. Recorded data and the Openair model were used to investigate the potential relationship between cruise ship operations and temporal fluctuations in PM concentrations in the ambient air. Additionally, an Tier 3 methodology developed through the European Monitoring and Evaluation Programme of the European Environmental Agency (EMEP/EEA) was applied in order to estimate the total cruise ship PM emissions. The study has shown that weather conditions play a significant role in local PM concentrations, so that, with predominant ENE wind directions, the west side of the Bay experienced on average higher concentrations of both PM2.5 and PM10. Rain precipitation and higher winds tend to decrease rapidly ambient PM concentrations. Higher PM levels are associated mainly with lower wind speeds and the inflows from neighboring berths/anchorages. During the maneuvering (arrival and departure) of cruise ships, higher spikes in PM values were detected, being more visible for PM10 than PM2.5. A significant correlation between daily average PM concentrations and cruise ships’ daily estimated PM emission was not found. As a result, higher temporal resolution demonstrated a stronger correlation.