Using Kriging incorporated with wind direction to investigate ground-level PM2.5 concentration

Huang Zhang, Yu Zhan, Jiayu Li, Chun Ying Chao, Qianfeng Liu, Chunying Wang, Shuangqing Jia, Lin Ma, Pratim Biswas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Conventional interpolation methods, such as spatial averaging, nearest neighbor, inverse distance weight and ordinary Kriging (OK); for estimating the spatial distribution of ground-level particulate matter (PM) data, do not account for the wind direction for estimating the spatial distribution of PM2.5. In this work, an interpolation algorithm, Win-OK accounting for the wind direction, is developed. In contrast to ordinary Kriging where all locations (irrespective of the wind direction) in the vicinity of a site is considered, the new algorithm (Win-OK) predicts the value at a certain location based on the measured values at locations upwind as determined by the wind direction. This new methodology, Win-OK is validated by applying it to analyze the hourly spatial distribution of ground-level PM2.5 concentrations during Chinese New Year and Chinese National Day in 2017 in Xinxiang city, China. The performance of OK and Win-OK are compared by using them to build PM2.5 concentration heat-maps. A “leave-one-out” cross validation methodology is used to calculate the root-mean-square error (RMSE) and standard deviation for evaluating both algorithms. The results show that OK sometimes gives an extremely high RMSE value using a Gaussian semi-variance model, and the standard deviation significantly deviates from the measured values. Win-OK was found to more accurately predict the PM2.5 spatial distribution in a specific sector. The performance of Win-OK is more stable than OK as established by comparing the calculated RMSE and standard deviation from predictions of both algorithms. Win-OK with a spherical semi-variance model is the most accurate method investigated here for deriving the spatial distribution of ground-level PM2.5. The new algorithm developed here could improve the prediction accuracy of PM2.5 spatial distribution by considering the effect of wind direction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number141813
JournalScience of the Total Environment
StatePublished - Jan 10 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Partial support by the McDonnell Academy Global Energy and Environmental Partnership (MAGEEP) and the Lucy and Stanley Lopata Foundation is gratefully acknowledged. Q.L. was supported by the Natural Science Foundation of Beijing [Grant No. 3194054 ].

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier B.V.


  • Interpolation
  • Kriging
  • Particulate matter
  • Spatial distribution
  • Wind direction

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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