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DOI: https://doi.org/10.4491/eer.2021.197
COVID-19 lockdown improves air quality in Morocco
Imane SEKMOUD1, Laila IDRISSI1, Kenza KHOMSI2, Soufiane FAIEQ3, 4, Mohamed EL JARMOUNI5, and Meryem TANARHTE1
1Hassan II University of Casablanca, Faculty of Sciences and Techniques of Mohammedia (FSTM), Laboratory of Process Engineering and Environment, 20650 Mohammedia, Morocco
2General Directorate of Meteorology, Face préfecture Hay Hassani, B.P. 8106 Casa-Oasis, Casablanca, Morocco
3Univ.Grenoble Alpes, CNRS,Grenoble INP( Institute of Engineering Univ.Grenoble Alpes), Grenoble, France
4LRIT Associated Unit to CNRST (URAC 29), Faculty of Sciences, Mohammed V University in Rabat, Rabat, Morocco
5Abdelmalek Essaadi University, National School of Applied Sciences, Water and Environmental Engineering Team, Applied Sciences Laboratory, B.P03, Ajdir, Al-Hoceima, Morocco
Corresponding Author: Imane SEKMOUD ,Tel: +212638-90-78-09, Fax: +212523315353, Email: imane.sekmoudi@gmail.com
Received: April 22, 2021;  Accepted: October 2, 2021.
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Several measures have been taken to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this context, almost all non-essential activities in Morocco have been halted since March 20, 2020. From that date, Morocco announced the lockdown for one month and it was extended until June 10, 2020. The main objective of this paper is to study the effects of the lockdown measures on air quality, by analyzing dust PM2.5, NO2, and O3. The dust PM2.5 analysis was carried out from 2016 to 2020. NO2 and O3 analysis was carried out in 2019 and 2020. This study, which is based on satellite data from TROPOMI Sentinel 5P and MERRA, has shown that Morocco has experienced an improvement in air quality during the lockdown. A significant reduction in surface dust PM2.5 and tropospheric NO2 was observed (-10%, -4% respectively on average). The total column of ozone recorded a slight increase on average of around 1%. Moreover, we demonstrate that a significant part of particulate pollution and NO2 emissions are incoming mainly from the northern and northern-eastern borders of Morocco.
Keywords: Air quality | COVID-19 lockdown | Dust PM2.5 | Morocco | NO2 | O3
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