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Modelling Seasonal GWR of Daily PM2.5 with Proper Auxiliary Variables for the Yangtze River Delta

Department of Geography and Spatial Information Techniques, Ningbo University, 818 Fenghua Road, Ningbo 315211, China
State Key Lab of Information Engineering on Survey, Mapping and Remote Sensing, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430079, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Yang Liu, Jun Wang, Omar Torres, Richard Müller and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(4), 346;
Received: 9 December 2016 / Revised: 26 February 2017 / Accepted: 1 April 2017 / Published: 5 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Atmospheric Pollution)
PDF [4128 KB, uploaded 5 April 2017]


Over the past decades, regional haze episodes have frequently occurred in eastern China, especially in the Yangtze River Delta (YRD). Satellite derived Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) has been used to retrieve the spatial coverage of PM2.5 concentrations. To improve the retrieval accuracy of the daily AOD-PM2.5 model, various auxiliary variables like meteorological or geographical factors have been adopted into the Geographically Weighted Regression (GWR) model. However, these variables are always arbitrarily selected without deep consideration of their potentially varying temporal or spatial contributions in the model performance. In this manuscript, we put forward an automatic procedure to select proper auxiliary variables from meteorological and geographical factors and obtain their optimal combinations to construct four seasonal GWR models. We employ two different schemes to comprehensively test the performance of our proposed GWR models: (1) comparison with other regular GWR models by varying the number of auxiliary variables; and (2) comparison with observed ground-level PM2.5 concentrations. The result shows that our GWR models of “AOD + 3” with three common meteorological variables generally perform better than all the other GWR models involved. Our models also show powerful prediction capabilities in PM2.5 concentrations with only slight overfitting. The determination coefficients R2 of our seasonal models are 0.8259 in spring, 0.7818 in summer, 0.8407 in autumn, and 0.7689 in winter. Also, the seasonal models in summer and autumn behave better than those in spring and winter. The comparison between seasonal and yearly models further validates the specific seasonal pattern of auxiliary variables of the GWR model in the YRD. We also stress the importance of key variables and propose a selection process in the AOD-PM2.5 model. Our work validates the significance of proper auxiliary variables in modelling the AOD-PM2.5 relationships and provides a good alternative in retrieving daily PM2.5 concentrations from remote sensing images in the YRD. View Full-Text
Keywords: seasonal GWR models; auxiliary variable selection; geographically weighted model; MODIS AOD; PM2.5 concentrations; Yangtze River Delta seasonal GWR models; auxiliary variable selection; geographically weighted model; MODIS AOD; PM2.5 concentrations; Yangtze River Delta

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Jiang, M.; Sun, W.; Yang, G.; Zhang, D. Modelling Seasonal GWR of Daily PM2.5 with Proper Auxiliary Variables for the Yangtze River Delta. Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 346.

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