Analyzing nocturnal noise stratification
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Rey Gozalo G.
Barrigón Morillas J.M.
Gómez Escobar V.
Pollution associated to traffic can be considered as one of the most relevant pollution sources in our cities; noise is one of the major components of traffic pollution; thus, efforts are necessary to search adequate noise assessment methods and low pollution city designs. Different methods have been proposed for the evaluation of noise in cities, including the categorization method, which is based on the functionality concept. Until now, this method has only been studied (with encouraging results) for short-term, diurnal measurements, but nocturnal noise presents a behavior clearly different on respect to the diurnal one. In this work 45 continuous measurements of approximately one week each in duration are statistically analyzed to identify differences between the proposed categories. The results show that the five proposed categories highlight the noise stratification of the studied city in each period of the day (day, evening, and night).A comparison of the continuous measurements with previous short-term measurements indicates that the latter can be a good approximation of the former in diurnal period, reducing the resource expenditure for noise evaluation. Annoyance estimated from the measured noise levels was compared with the response of population obtained from a questionnaire with good agreement. The categorization method can yield good information about the distribution of a pollutant associated to traffic in our cities in each period of the day and, therefore, is a powerful tool for town planning and the design of pollution prevention policies. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.
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