Estimation of daily PM10 concentrations in Italy (2006–2012) using finely resolved satellite data, land use variables and meteorology

Massimo Stafoggia, Joel Schwartz, Chiara Badaloni, Tom Bellander, Ester Alessandrini, Giorgio Cattani, Francesca de' Donato, Alessandra Gaeta, Gianluca Leone, Alexei Lyapustin, Meytar Sorek-Hamer, Kees de Hoogh, Qian Di, Francesco Forastiere, Itai Kloog

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Scopus citations


Health effects of air pollution, especially particulate matter (PM), have been widely investigated. However, most of the studies rely on few monitors located in urban areas for short-term assessments, or land use/dispersion modelling for long-term evaluations, again mostly in cities. Recently, the availability of finely resolved satellite data provides an opportunity to estimate daily concentrations of air pollutants over wide spatio-temporal domains. Italy lacks a robust and validated high resolution spatio-temporally resolved model of particulate matter. The complex topography and the air mixture from both natural and anthropogenic sources are great challenges difficult to be addressed. We combined finely resolved data on Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) from the Multi-Angle Implementation of Atmospheric Correction (MAIAC) algorithm, ground-level PM10measurements, land-use variables and meteorological parameters into a four-stage mixed model framework to derive estimates of daily PM10concentrations at 1-km2 grid over Italy, for the years 2006–2012. We checked performance of our models by applying 10-fold cross-validation (CV) for each year. Our models displayed good fitting, with mean CV-R2 = 0.65 and little bias (average slope of predicted VS observed PM10 = 0.99). Out-of-sample predictions were more accurate in Northern Italy (Po valley) and large conurbations (e.g. Rome), for background monitoring stations, and in the winter season. Resulting concentration maps showed highest average PM10levels in specific areas (Po river valley, main industrial and metropolitan areas) with decreasing trends over time. Our daily predictions of PM10concentrations across the whole Italy will allow, for the first time, estimation of long-term and short-term effects of air pollution nationwide, even in areas lacking monitoring data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)234-244
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironment international
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2017


  • Aerosol Optical Depth
  • Air pollution
  • Epidemiology
  • Exposure assessment
  • Particulate matter
  • Satellite

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science


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