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Berlin Environmental Atlas

03.03 Nitrogen Oxides - Emissions and Pollutions (Edition 1994)

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Map Description

Emissions and Calculated Pollutions 1989

In the three Maps 03.03.1, 03.03.2 and 03.03.3, the emissions for the main polluter groups industry, domestic heating and traffic are presented for the year 1989, each in 1-km²-grid. The Maps 03.03.4, 03.03.5 and 03.03.6 give respectively the calculated annual mean for pollution concentrations in 1989 from those main polluter groups.


The map of the industry emissions (Map 03.03.1) shows a very irregular picture. It influenced above all through the twelve public and some large private power -, heating power - and heating plants, which are distributed throughout the whole city and display extremely high emissions. The highest grid value, with more than 8,000 t/km² and year, can be found at the Charlottenburg high-capacity power plant. It lies with almost 2,000 t over the 1981 value (cf. Map 03.03.3, SenStadtUm 1985).

Since according to TA-Luft the height of industry smokestack is dependent on how heavy their pollution emission is; the heavier the pollution, the higher the smokestack. Thereby, the pollutants of these plants are discharged at higher elevations and distributed evenly in and over the entire urban area and the surrounding countryside. Therefore increased concentrations in the vicinity of the plants are as a rule neither calculated near, as Map 03.03.4 shows, nor measured, as Map 03.03.8 documents.

In contrast, wide area differences become apparent in the map of calculated pollution of the polluter group industry (Map 03.03.4). So the values in the inner city, with 20 µg/m³, lie about twice as high as in the outskirts area. This can be explained by the fact that the Berlin inner city is exposed at every wind direction to high pollutant loads from Berlin, while at the city edges this is only occasionally the case.

Domestic Heating

The map of domestic heating pollutions (Map 03.03.2) shows in the inner city area a ring of higher nitrogen oxide-values, which lies at a relative minimum in the center of town. The low values in the center are due to the influence of the Grosse Tiergarten and a high share of long-distance heat. The ring of higher values, with maximums of 20 to 26 t/km² and year in Prenzlauer Berg and in the northern parts of Schöneberg and Neukölln, is caused through a high share of oil and coal-fueled single- and central heat at very high residential density. With the decrease in residential density, the emissions also decline in the direction of the city edges. The more densely-settled outskirts of the city in direction west (Spandau), north (Tegel), Southeast (Treptow) and Southwest (Zehlendorf) can be recognized by their slightly higher values. The large settlements Märkisches Viertel, Hellersdorf and Marzahn as well as Gropiusstadt do not show up as emission maximums because they are provided with long distance energy. The same distribution, limited to West Berlin, already appeared in the Environmental Atlas of 1985, whereby the single values in the highly polluted areas lay up to 10 t/km² and year higher (cf. Maps 03.03.2 and 03.03.5, SenStadtUm 1985).

The results of the dispersion calculation in the area of domestic heating (Map 03.03.5) show essentially the same structure as the emission field domestic heating. In addition, the maximum lies in the same area as that for industry (Prenzlauer Berg). With 10 µg/m³, it is about half as high.


In the map Traffic Emissions (Map 03.03.3) the half open city expressway ring and the west-east axis along the Bismarckstrasse-Kaiserdamm in the western part of the city appears most prominantly. At the intersection of both roadways, the maximum nitrogen oxide emissions can be found at 380 t/km² and year. Also in the Environmental Atlas of 1985, which gives the emission values of the year 1981, this area displayed the highest value, then about 80 t/km² and per year less (cf. Map 03.03.1, SenStadtUm 1985). In the case of traffic emissions, a star-formed structure of the urban area with higher values can be more easily recognized than with the domestic heating emissions. It extends from the inner city in all directions along the course of the main traffic arteries. At the northernmost outskirts, the course of the highway Berlin Ring with its access roads and branch to Prenzlau and Stettin can be clearly recognized.

The calculated pollution for traffic (Map 03.03.6) displays emissions in greatly leveled-out form as with domestic heating. A distinctive maximum of 120 to 150 µg/m³ has been calculated for the interface of the city expressway with the Kaiserdamm, at which the maximum emissions are to be found.

The pollutant load of the city air is caused not only through emissions in the urban area and in the direct surrounding countryside, but also by a national pollution level, which is caused by a multitude of pollutant sources in Germany and Europe. After the German union the Federal Environmental Agency spread its monitoring network, with whose help these background levels are determined, to the new federal states. In the Berlin region are the stations Kyritz, Neuglobsow and Angermünde northwest and northeast of the city as well as Wiesenburg and Lindenberg southwest and southeast of the city. The first annual mean for nitrogen dioxide concentration became available in 1992. These could be applied as background values for Berlin (cf. Federal Environmental Agency 1992a). The values lie at 10 to 13 µg/m³. They coincide with the value of 12 µg/m³, which was determined at 300m height of the radio tower, Frohnau. Based on these measurements, a national pollution level of approx. 10 µg/m³ has been calculated for Berlin as a whole.

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