Gantuya Ganbat This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.1, Halim Lee  2, Hyun-Woo Jo3, Batbayar Jadamba4, Daniel Karthe  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.2,1,5

1 Engineering Faculty, German-Mongolian Institute for Resources and Technology (GMIT), Nalaikh, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
2 United Nations University Institute for Integrated Management of Material Fluxes and of Resources (UNU-FLORES), Dresden, Germany
3 Department of Environmental Science and Ecological Engineering, Korea University, Seoul, Republic of Korea
4 National Agency for Meteorology and Environmental Monitoring, Ministry of Environment and Tourism, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
5 Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany

Received: May 14, 2022
Revised: July 10, 2022
Accepted: August 18, 2022

 Copyright The Author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are cited.

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Ganbat, G., Lee, H., Jo, H.W., Jadamba, B., Karthe, D. (2022). Assessment of COVID-19 Impacts on Air Quality in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, Based on Terrestrial and Sentinel-5P TROPOMI Data. Aerosol Air Qual. Res.


  • Impacts of COVID-19 on air pollution in Ulaanbaatar are studied.
  • Terrestrial and satellite data were used.
  • NO2 concentrations decreased by up to 45% during the strict-lockdowns.
  • Ground measurements agree with satellite measurements on NO2.


The study aims to reveal the impact of three sequential strict-lockdowns of COVID-19 measures on the air pollutants including NO2, SO2, PM10, and PM2.5 in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia during November 2020–February 2021 based on air quality network and satellite data. Based on measurements of automatic air quality sites in Ulaanbaatar, we found a substantial decrease in NO2 (up to 45%), PM10 (72%), and PM2.5 (59%) compared to the same periods in the previous five years. On the other hand, up to a threefold increase in SO2 concentration was seen. Compared to 2015-2020, the number of days exceeding the national air quality standard level of NO2 decreased by 55% during November 2020–February 2021. A similar trend was observed for PM10 and PM2.5 (30% and 14%, respectively). Conversely, days exceeding the national air quality standard level of SO2 increased by 58%. The third strict-lockdown exhibited significant reductions in pollutant concentrations. The percentage exceeding the national standard level for NO2, PM10, and PM2.5 constituted 23%, 50%, and 67% during the lockdown periods while it was 89%, 84%, and 91%, respectively, for the same periods in the previous five years. Even though Sentinel 5P-TROPOMI data do not fully reflect the above findings, they add valuable insights into the spatial pollution pattern during strict-lockdown and non-lockdown periods. The study demonstrates that measures taken during the strict-lockdown periods clearly influenced the values of daily patterns of NO2, PM10, and PM2.5 concentrations. On the contrary, it is important to note that SO2 concentration increased during the last two winter months after 2019.

Keywords: Air pollution, Strict lockdown, COVID-19, Ulaanbaatar

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