1Institute of Environmental Science, Shanxi University, Taiyuan, 030006, China
2Korea Polar Research Institute, Songdo Dong, Yeonsu Gu, 406-840 Incheon, Korea
3Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences, Anwai, Beiyuan, Dayangfang 8, Beijing 100012, China
4National Research Center for Environmental Analysis and Measurements, No.1 Yuhuinanlu, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100029, China
5Department of Chemistry, Inha University, 253 Yonghyun-dong, Nam-gu, 402-751, Incheon, Korea
Abstract. This is the first study of Asian dust storm (ADS) particles collected in Beijing, China and Incheon, Korea during the same spring ADS event. Using a seven-stage May impactor and a quantitative electron probe X-ray microanalysis (ED-EPMA, also known as low-Z particle EPMA), we examined the composition and morphology of 4200 aerosol particles at stages 1–6 (with a size cut-off of 16, 8, 4, 2, 1, and 0.5 μm in equivalent aerodynamic diameter, respectively) collected during an ADS event on 28–29 April 2005. The results showed that there were large differences in the chemical compositions between particles in sample S1 collected in Beijing immediately after the peak time of the ADS and in samples S2 and S3, which were collected in Incheon approximately 5 h and 24 h later, respectively. In sample S1, mineral dust particles accounted for more than 88% in relative number abundance at stages 1–5, and organic carbon (OC) and reacted NaCl-containing particles accounted for 24% and 32%, respectively, at stage 6. On the other hand, in samples S2 and S3, in addition to approximately 60% mineral dust, many sea salt particles reacted with airborne SO2 and NOx, often mixed with mineral dust, were encountered at stages 1–5, and (C, N, O, S)-rich particles (likely a mixture of water-soluble organic carbon with (NH4)2SO4 and NH4NO3) and K-containing particles were abundantly observed at stage 6. This suggests that the secondary aerosols and the internal mixture of mineral dust with sea spray aerosol increased when the ADS particles passed over the Yellow Sea. In the reacted or aged mineral dust and sea salt particles, nitrate-containing and both nitrate- and sulfate-containing species vastly outnumbered the sulfate-containing species, implying that ambient nitrogen oxides had a greater influence on the atmospheric particles during the ADS episode than SO2. In addition to partially- or totally-reacted CaCO3, reacted or aged Mg-containing aluminosilicates (likely including amesite, allophite, vermiculite, illite, and montmorillonite) were observed frequently in samples S2 and S3; and furthermore, both the atomic concentration ratios of [Mg]/[Al] and [Mg]/[Si] were elevated compared to that in sample S1. This shows that a great evolution or aging process must have occurred on the mineral dust. This indicates that the number abundance, reactivity with gaseous pollutants, and ratios of [Mg]/[Al] and [Mg]/[Si] of Mg-containing aluminosilicates are promising indices of the aging process of ADS particles during long-range transport.