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Pollution Monitoring by Mobile Laboratory


Studies of the Main Sources and Peculiarities of the Distribution of Gaseous and Aerosol Pollutants in the Atmosphere over Russian Territory by Using a Specialized Carriage-Laboratory

Tech Area / Field

  • ENV-APC/Air Pollution and Control/Environment

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Glazova M B

Leading Institute
Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Russia, Moscow

Supporting institutes

  • Scientific Research Institute of Rail Transport, Russia, Moscow\nKarpov Institute of Physical Chemistry, Russia, Moscow


  • Institut für Troposhärenforschung e.V., Germany, Leipzig\nUniversity of Cambridge / Centre for Atmospheric Science, UK, Cambridge

Project summary

The main feature of the current research is applying the specially equipped railway carriage-laboratory to measure contents of minor trace gases and aerosol in the surface boundary layer of the atmosphere. Using the carriage able to move across the wide territory provides an exclusive ability to obtain spatial and temporal distribution of the minor atmospheric gaseous and aerosol species over the continent and to determine the sources of greenhouse and other gases, aerosols and environmentally dangerous gases of both natural and anthropogenic origin. Of great interest for understanding the processes of global changes related to the evolution of the chemical composition of the atmosphere is also the study of the products released by extended forest fires: smokes and gases like hydrocarbons, CO, and nitrogen oxides (NO and NO2). These components, together with sulfur oxides, resulting also from industrial activities will be measured along the routes of the mobile laboratory, attached to trains, in particular, the Transsiberian.

The work includes equipment of the laboratory by proper measuring instruments, the carrying out of the measurements on the railroads and analysis of data to evaluate peculiarities of pollutant distribution and intensity of sources and sinks of particular pollutants in various regions of the Russian part of the Eurasian continent. The results of observations will include a distribution of pollutants of anthropogenic origin (resulting from combustion of fuels, biomass burning and other sources) and natural origin (aerosol from desert and semi-desert areas, methane from wetlands).

Special investigations are planned for arid aerosol, especially in regions of the Aral Sea, Central Asia deserts and China deserts. They will provide the picture of desert dust transport, in particular from China to the Russian territory. The obtained data and development methods of their analysis on the base of transport models including chemical transformations will provide better understanding of the impact of the large territory of Asia on the regional up to hemispheric atmospheric composition and climate change. The proposed project corresponds well also to activities of IGAC, the International Global Atmospheric Chemistry Program and, especially, to its planned Project Asia-2000.

Project also includes measurements of background radioactivity and radon.

For determination of concentration and physical-chemical properties of aerosols the instruments and methodologies will be used that have been developed previously in the framework of ISTC project "Investigation of the Processes of Dust and Salt Transfer from New Desertified Regions", however modified for execution of the new tasks. A possibility of including of remote sensing instruments (sodar, lidar) will be investigated. It is supposed to use experimental methods developed for the studies of the physical-chemical properties of aerosols and the photocatalitical reactions in laboratory conditions. The Project proposes to use the scientific potential and experimental technique previously used for modeling and studying aerosols for special purposes. The former weapons scientists will take part in the investigations of the physical and chemical composition of the aerosols.

The methods of simulation of pollutant transport in the atmosphere will be used to evaluate an input of large sources. They will include the analysis of meteorological fields in the region under investigation and transport models considering photochemistry processes.

The Project supposes the carrying out of measurements on the West-East route (Moscow-Khabarovsk) and North-South route (Murmansk-Kislovodsk) at winter and summer seasons. It is supposed from time to time to use mobile car platform, allowing to conduct the measurements on certain distance from railway road for control of gaseous and particularly aerosol measurements.

As a result of the Project unique data on particularities of gaseous and aerosol spatial distribution over huge Russian territories will be obtained. The input of industrial and natural sources at different seasons will be estimated. These data can be used to develop understanding of mechanisms of processes existing in the lower atmosphere and to improve models of climate change, atmospheric composition, global warming and its environmental consequences.

Collaboration work

Max-Plank Institute fur Chemie, Mainz, Germany (Prof. Dr. P.J.Crutzen) will take part in experimental program on the Project and in data analysis.

Coordination of experimental programs on the study of aerosol pollution and exchange of data and information with Dr. D. Gillette (US Department of Commerce, NOAA, Air Resources Laboratory, Atmospheric Science Modeling Division, USA).


The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.


ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

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