Meteorology, human activities, and other emission sources drive diurnal cyclic patterns of air pollution. Previous studies mainly focused on the variation of PM2.5 concentrations during daytime rather than nighttime. In addition, assessing the spatial variations of PM2.5 in large areas is a critical issue for environmental epidemiological studies to clarify the health effects from PM2.5 exposures. In terms of air pollution spatial modelling, using only a single model might lose information in capturing spatial and temporal correlation between predictors and pollutant levels. Hence, this study aimed to propose an ensemble mixed spatial model that incorporated Kriging interpolation, land-use regression (LUR), machine learning, and stacking ensemble approach to estimate long-term PM2.5 variations for nearly three decades in daytime and nighttime. Three steps of model development were applied: 1) linear based LUR and Hybrid Kriging-LUR were used to determine influential predictors; 2) machine learning algorithms were used to enhance model prediction accuracy; 3) predictions from the selected machine learning models were fitted and evaluated again to build the final ensemble mixed spatial model. The results showed that prediction performance increased from 0.514 to 0.895 for daily, 0.478 to 0.879 for daytime, and 0.523 to 0.878 for nighttime when applying the proposed ensemble mixed spatial model compared with LUR. Results of overfitting test and extrapolation ability test confirmed the robustness and reliability of the developed models. The distance to the nearest thermal power plant, density of soil and pebbles fields, and funeral facilities might affect the variation of PM2.5 levels between daytime and nighttime. The PM2.5 level was higher in daytime compared with nighttime with little difference, revealing the importance of estimating nighttime PM2.5 variations. Our findings also clarified the emission sources in daytime and nighttime, which serve as valuable information for air pollution control strategies establishment.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Engineering
- Environmental Chemistry
- Waste Management and Disposal