Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 13, 903-933, 2013
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Analysis of a winter regional haze event and its formation mechanism in the North China Plain
X. J. Zhao, P. S. Zhao, J. Xu, W. Meng, W. W. Pu, F. Dong, D. He, and Q. F. Shi
Institute of Urban Meteorology, Chinese Meteorological Administration, Beijing 100089, China

Abstract. A regional haze episode occurred in the Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei province (BTH) area in the North China Plain (NCP) from 16 to 19 January 2010. The chemical and optical properties of aerosols and the meteorological condition were investigated in this study with intensive measurement of aerosol and trace gases from 14 to 23 January 2010 at five sites. The episode was caused by the combination of anthropogenic emissions and surface air stagnation under a high pressure system followed by a low pressure system. The concentrations of PM2.5 and trace gases increased significantly on a regional scale during this episode. The increased aerosol scattering coefficient (σsp), absorption coefficient (σap), and aerosol optical depth (AOD) showed the importance of aerosol extinction during this haze episode. The increase of secondary inorganic pollutants (SO42−, NO3, NH4+) was observed simultaneously at four sites, especially in the plain area of BTH, which could be identified as a common characteristic of pollution haze in east China. The organic matter (OM) was different from secondary inorganic pollutants, which increased more significantly at Chengde (CD) site than the other three sites in plain area. The sulfate and nitrate in PM2.5 were mainly formed through the heterogeneous reaction process in the urban area. The secondary organic aerosols in PM2.5 only existed during haze days at CD but in both haze and normal days at the other three sites. The chemical characteristics of aerosols in PM2.5 indicated that the secondary formation of aerosol was one important mechanism in the formation of haze episode. The strong temperature inversion and descending air motions in the planetary boundary layer (PBL) allowed pollutants to accumulate in a shallow layer. The weak surface wind speed produced high pollutants concentration within these source regions. The accumulation of pollutants was one main factor in the haze formation. The enhanced southwest wind in the last period of this episode transported pollutants to the downwind area and expanded the regional scope of the haze.

Citation: Zhao, X. J., Zhao, P. S., Xu, J., Meng, W., Pu, W. W., Dong, F., He, D., and Shi, Q. F.: Analysis of a winter regional haze event and its formation mechanism in the North China Plain, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 13, 903-933, doi:10.5194/acpd-13-903-2013, 2013.
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