ISSN 2070-7401 (Print), ISSN 2411-0280 (Online)
Sovremennye problemy distantsionnogo zondirovaniya Zemli iz kosmosa


Sovremennye problemy distantsionnogo zondirovaniya Zemli iz kosmosa, 2017, Vol. 14, No. 2, pp. 240-249

Nitrogen and sulphur dioxide accumulation, spatial distribution and transportation in the atmosphere of Debed River basin and correlated public health risks analysis using satellite measurements

S.A. Stankevich 1 , M.A. Nalbandyan 2 , D.M. Andreasyan 3 , O.V. Titarenko 1 
1 Scientific Centre for Aerospace Research of the Earth NAS of Ukraine, Kiev, Ukraine
2 Institute of Geological Sciences NAS of Republic of Armenia, Yerevan, Republic of Armenia
3 S. Avdalbekyan National Institute of Health, Yerevan, Republic of Armenia
Accepted: 17.04.2017
DOI: 10.21046/2070-7401-2017-14-2-240-249
The paper is devoted to the exploration of nitrogen and sulphur dioxides content inside the lower atmosphere. The spatial distribution and transportation of such dioxides was mapped by remote sensing methods in the atmosphere of the Debed River basin where the mining industry is located. Contamination of the atmosphere by sulphur dioxide was detected as well as spatial distributions and migration trends of polluted air masses were extracted within the northern part of Armenia. According to estimates obtained, average concentrations of sulphur dioxide in the near-ground air within some sites exceed 10–11 times maximum permissible concentration and reached 0.57 mg/m3. There is a trend of pollutants concentration increase to the west of Alaverdi town, i.e. of major sources of contamination which are the Alaverdi copper smeltery and Akhtalinsk ore mining and processing factory. This pattern occurs due to systematic migration of air masses westward and south-westward, caused by climate and orographic properties of the region. The detected trends increase the risk of contamination of soils, surface water and vegetation in Lori and Shirak Marzes located in this part of Armenia. In order to study the indirect impact of major atmospheric pollutants – nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide – on cancer incidence statistics, population disease rates were analyzed in regions of Armenia for 2007–2014. Analysis of available data allowed to identify the regions with the highest incidence rates of malignant neoplasms and, in particular, lung cancer. These are Lori, Shirak and Syunik Marzes. As a result of the current research, the highest concentrations of sulphur dioxide in the air were registered in Lori and Shirak Marzes. In the future, we plan to continue this research and perform a statistical evaluation of possible effect that sulfur dioxide contamination of air has on malignant neoplasms rates in a population.
Keywords: atmosphere remote sensing, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, industrial atmospheric contamination, observations time series, environmental monitoring, population disease rates
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