Ground level concentration of sulfur dioxide at Kuwait's major population centers during the oil-field fires

Dhari N. Al-Ajmi, Yehia R. Marmoush

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Abstract

During the Iraqi occupation, Kuwait's oil wells were ignited. The fires were damaging to the country's oil resources and air quality. The impact of the oil-field fires on the air quality was studied to determine the level of exposure to pollutants in major population centers. The period of July- September 1991 was selected for examination. A mathematical model was used to compute the ground-level concentration of pollutants generated by the 558 burning oil wells in the eight oil fields in the principal oil production area during the investigated period. The results are presented as ground- level concentration isopleths. The results of these computations are supported by significant concentrations measured and reported by the Environmental Protection Council, Kuwait. The ground-level concentrations of sulfur dioxide in the major population centers, whether measured or estimated, were less than the ambient standards of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's air pollution index. The dispersive characteristics were classified according to wind conditions. The results of this assessment provide historical data on Kuwait's oil fires and may be useful in assessing risks resulting from this catastrophe.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-287
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironment International
Volume22
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1996

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry

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