Estimation of the impact of biomass burning based on regional transport of PM2.5 in the Colombian Caribbean

Jehison Bolaño-Truyol, Ismael L. Schneider, Heidis Cano Cuadro, Jorge D. Bolaño-Truyol, Marcos L.S. Oliveira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Contribution to Journal)peer-review


Deterioration of air quality due to the increase in atmospheric emissions from biomass burning (BB) is one of the major environmental problems worldwide. In this study, we estimated the contributions of BB to PM2.5 concentrations in the municipalities of Soledad and Malambo located in the Colombian Caribbean. The evaluation period ranged from February 24 to March 30, 2018, a period with a high number of BB events recorded in the surroundings of the evaluated sites. The contribution of BB to the two sampling sites was estimated using the Hybrid Single-Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory (HYSPLIT) dispersion model with forwarding trajectories from each of the burning points identified by satellite images (n = 1089). The PM2.5 emissions were determined using the fire radiative power (FRP), obtained by remote-sensing data, and corresponded to the radiant energy released per time unit by burning vegetation. The average PM2.5 concentrations during the evaluation period were 19.91 μg/m3 for Soledad and 22.44 μg/m3 for Malambo. The average contribution of BB to these municipalities was 22.8% and 28.8%, respectively. The methodology used in this study allowed to estimate the contribution of this important source without knowledge of a previous tracer of BB, thereby increasing the use of the proposed procedure worldwide. This information would enable the implementation of effective mitigation, thereby diminishing the adverse impact of PM2.5 on the health of the population.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101152
JournalGeoscience Frontiers
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


  • Biomass burning
  • Dispersion model
  • Particulate matter
  • Remote sensing

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