Chapter 10.2 - Gridded Data

Last updated on 23 May 2017 14:37 (cf. Authors)

Information on spatial distribution of emissions is important for a number of questions in the field of air quality monitoring. Calculated data are used as input data for dispersion modelling of air pollutants or for visualizing the spatial distribution structure of emissions showing if abatement strategies were successful. For this reason, an ESRI ArcGIS based software has been developed which allows the UBA, independently and on the basis of information generally available, to regularly generate regionalized emission data sets for the complete area of the Federal Republic of Germany.

The software is documented in detail and complies with high standards as to flexibility and extensibility (description of the gridding tool).

Following pollutants are actually considered: NOX, NH3, SO2, CO, NMVOC, PM2.5 and PM10 (and TSP).

Gridded emissions of heavy metals and persistent organic pollutants will be added in future.


  • The gridding tool GRETA contains a complete set of the required data per base year. This includes emissions, distribution parameters, geometric data sets as well as the necessary definitions and allocation tables. The year 2010 was set as the reference year for which all the necessary data for the Gridding Tool was prepared. Furthermore, for the years before the year 2000 data sets have been adjusted.
  • Furthermore, the conditions of the current calculation have to be defined (for example PRTR data for point sources or TREMOD data for the traffic sector). Additionally, the relevant distribution parameters per source group or NFR sector to the spatial distribution of the emissions have to be allocated.
  • The PRTR emissions are checked against national totals and subtracted from the totals. National emissions, which are not covered by the PRTR point sources, are calculated per NFR sector. For each NFR sector, the spatial distribution of the national emissions takes place via distribution parameters, if possible as point sources (PQ) and line sources (LQ). The remaining emissions are spatially assigned to distribution parameters on district level and further, taking into account land cover data, on area level (FQ).
  • The calculation can be carried out for different arbitrary grid widths and different coordinate reference systems.

The results are available via the Central Data Repository CDR maintained of the EEA/EIONET.

Results with the EMEP grid

The spatial resolution of reported emissions changed from 50 km x 50 km EMEP grid to 0.1° × 0.1° long-lat in a geographic coordinate system (WGS84) to improve the quality of monitoring. The new EMEP domain covers the geographic area between 30°N-82°N latitude and 30°W-90°E longitude. More information about the grid development is available under EMEP grid.

As an example the following figures show the SO2 emission trend with the former rough EMEP grid. The annual emission height differs due to the different emission inventory submissions.

Previous results of SO2 emissions for the years 1990, 1995, 2000 and 2005 with the former grid size (submission 2012).

Still under Construction!

Actual results applying the new grid size

Acidification, eutrophication and Ground-level Ozone pollutants: Sulphur (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), ammonia (NH3) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

The significant emission reduction history can be visualized by the following grid maps for the years 1990, 1995, 2000, 2005, 2010 and 2015. For the years prior to 2000, no distribution could be made on point sources because information from the German PRTR or EPER is available only from 2000 ownwards.

Particle emissions
With a decision of the Member States in 2006 PM10 and PM2.5 emissions are not subject of the reporting for the years before 2000. In the 1990s, the sampling and analysis of particulate matter differed widely. A comparability was therefore not given. For TSP and PM2.5 no distribution could be made on point sources because no information is available in PRTR. This will be improved with the next submission.

CO emissions

Next section: 14. Adjustments and Emission Ceiling Exceedance

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