Mhawish, A; Banerjee, T; Sorek-Hamer, M; Bilal, M; Lyapustin, AI; Chatfield, R; Broday, DM (2020). Estimation of High-Resolution PM2.5 over the Indo-Gangetic Plain by Fusion of Satellite Data, Meteorology, and Land Use Variables. ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY, 54(13), 7891-7900.

Very high spatially resolved satellite-derived ground-level concentrations of particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter of less than 2.5 mu m (PM2.5) have multiple potential applications, especially in air quality modeling and epidemiological and climatological research. Satellite-derived aerosol optical depth (AOD) and columnar water vapor (CWV), meteorological parameters, and land use data were used as variables within the framework of a linear mixed effect model (LME) and a random forest (RF) model to predict daily ground-level concentrations of PM2.5 at 1 km X 1 km grid resolution across the Indo-Gangetic Plain (IGP) in South Asia. The RF model exhibited superior performance and higher accuracy compared with the LME model, with better cross-validated explained variance (R-2 = 0.87) and lower relative prediction error (RPE = 24.5%). The RF model revealed improved performance metrics for increasing averaging periods, from daily to weekly, monthly, seasonal, and annual means, which supported its use in estimating PM2.5 exposure metrics across the IGP at varying temporal scales (i.e., both short and long terms). The RF-based PM2.5 estimates showed high PM2.5 levels over the middle and lower IGP, with the annual mean exceeding 110 mu g/m(3). As for seasons, winter was the most polluted season, while monsoon was the cleanest. Spatially, the middle and lower IGP showed poorer air quality compared to the upper IGP. In winter, the middle and lower IGP experienced very poor air quality, with mean PM2.5 concentrations of >170 mu g/m(3).