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Predicting Within-City Spatial Variations in Outdoor Ultrafine Particle and Black Carbon Concentrations in Bucaramanga, Colombia: A Hybrid Approach Using Open-Source Geographic Data and Digital Images
Environmental Science & Technology  (IF9.028),  Pub Date : 2021-09-09, DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.1c01412
Marshall Lloyd, Ellison Carter, Florencio Guzman Diaz, Kento Taro Magara-Gomez, Kris Y. Hong, Jill Baumgartner, Víctor M. Herrera G, Scott Weichenthal

Outdoor ultrafine particles (UFP, <0.1 μm) and black carbon (BC) vary greatly within cities and may have adverse impacts on human health. In this study, we used a hybrid approach to develop new models to estimate within-city spatial variations in outdoor UFP and BC concentrations across Bucaramanga, Colombia. We conducted a mobile monitoring campaign over 20 days in 2019. Regression models were trained on land use data and combined with predictions from convolutional neural networks (CNN) trained to predict UFP and BC concentrations using satellite and street-level images. The combined UFP model (R2 = 0.54) outperformed the CNN (R2 = 0.47) and land use regression (LUR) models (R2 = 0.47) on their own. Similarly, the combined BC model also outperformed the CNN and LUR BC models (R2 = 0.51 vs 0.43 and 0.45, respectively). Spatial variations in model performance were more stable for the CNN and combined models compared to the LUR models, suggesting that the combined approach may be less likely to contribute to differential exposure measurement error in epidemiological studies. In general, our findings demonstrated that satellite and street-level images can be combined with a traditional LUR modeling approach to improve predictions of within-city spatial variations in outdoor UFP and BC concentrations.