Spatio-Temporal Distribution and Risk Levels of TSP and PM10 in the Mining Town of Tarkwa, Ghana
Particulate matter (PM) varies significantly in space and time. Effective PM risk analysis requires adequate knowledge of the spatial and temporal distribution of PM. In order to understand TSP/PM10 variability within the microclimate of Tarkwa and their potential impact. The Spatio-temporal distribution of Total Suspended Particulates (TSP) and PM10 in Tarkwa were studied. Five years TSP and PM10 monthly concentration data from fifteen (15) monitoring stations were collected and analysed for Spatio-temporal characteristics within the suburbs around three mining companies in Tarkwa. Autocorrelation between neighbouring suburbs, attainment rate, particle size distribution and risk levels were evaluated. The results revealed that all the monitoring stations except two (stations NV and TN) recorded TSP and PM10 concentrations below the national guideline for all years of study. Geo-spatially, the highest TSP and PM10 risk level were recorded East of Tarkwa. Inhalable particles constitute about 44.09-72.9% of TSP. Attainment values between 44.09%-100% and 30%-100% were recorded for TSP and PM10, respectively. Estimated AQI values ranged between good and unhealthy for sensitive groups. Future studies directed at the chemical composition of PM was recommended to enhance further understanding of the risk levels.