Non-uniform effect of COVID-19 lockdown on the air quality in different local climate zones of the urban region of Kochi, India

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Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences


Deterioration of ambient air quality associated with urbanisation is a serious concern in many parts of the world. In India, air pollution, primarily due to particulate matter, has increased exponentially in the last few decades due to rapid urbanization, industrialization and population growth. This study investigates the non-uniform influence of COVID-19 lockdown on the ambient air quality of three distinct local climate zones (LCZs) within the urban region of Kochi (Kerala, India). The analysis of the air pollutant data of the ambient air quality monitoring stations during the pre-lockdown (PRLD), lockdown (LD) and post-lockdown (PTLD) periods of 2021 implies the significance of lockdown measures in the improvement of urban air quality. The air quality index (AQI) exhibits characteristic variability in different LCZs and contrasting behaviour between the LD period of 2020 and 2021, primarily due to the differences in the lockdown restrictions and strategies as well as the influence of local climatic factors. This study highlights the need for multiple monitoring stations in the urban regions with respect to different LCZs to identify the urban air quality hot spots.

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© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Korean Spatial Information Society 2022. Publisher’s version of record:

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Spatial Information Research