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https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-1171
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-1171
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 06 Feb 2020

Submitted as: research article | 06 Feb 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Synergistic enhancement of urban haze by nitrate uptake into transported hygroscopic particles in the Asian continental outflow

Jihoon Seo1,2, Yong Bin Lim3, Daeok Youn4, Jin Young Kim1, and Hyoun Cher Jin1 Jihoon Seo et al.
  • 1Environment, Health and Welfare Research Center, Korea Institute of Science and Technology, Seoul, 02792, South Korea
  • 2School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul, 08826, South Korea
  • 3Departmant of Chemical Engineering and Material Science, Ewha Womans University, Seoul, 03760, South Korea
  • 4Departmant of Earth Science Education, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju, 28644, South Korea

Abstract. Haze pollution is affected by local air pollutants, regional transport of background particles and precursors, atmospheric chemistry related to secondary aerosol formation, and meteorological conditions conducive to the physical, dynamical, and chemical processes. In the large, populated and industrialized areas like the Asian continental outflow region, the combination of regional transport and local stagnant often exacerbates urban haze pollution. However, the detailed chemical processes underlying the enhancement of urban haze induced by the combined effect of local emissions and transported remote pollutants are still unclear. Here, we demonstrate an important role of transported hygroscopic particles in increasing local inorganic aerosols, by studying the chemical composition of PM2.5 collected between October 2012 and June 2014 in Seoul, a South Korean megacity in the Asian continental outflow region, using the ISORROPIA II thermodynamic model. Measured PM2.5 group under the condition of regional transport from the upwind source areas in China was higher in mass concentration and richer in secondary inorganic aerosol (SIA) species and aerosol liquid water (ALW) compared to that under the non-transport condition. The SIA and ALW were both increased, particularly in cases with high PM2.5 levels, and this indicates inorganic species as a major driver of hygroscopicity. We conclude that the urban haze pollution in the continental outflow region like Seoul, particularly during the cold season, can be exacerbated by ALW in the transported particles, which enhances the nitrate partitioning into the particle phase in NOx and NH3-rich urban areas. This study reveals the synergistic effect of remote and local sources on the urban haze pollution in the downwind region and provides insight into the nonlinearity of domestic and foreign contributions to receptor PM2.5 concentrations in the numerical air quality models.

Jihoon Seo et al.

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Latest update: 18 Feb 2020
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Short summary
This study investigates a synergistic role of transported regional haze in increasing local inorganic aerosols. PM2.5 data measured at Seoul, South Korea, together with the thermodynamic model show that the transported haze particles from the polluted continent are richer in inorganic and wetter than the local haze particles. The transported wet particles readily increase the inorganic aerosols by uptake of HNO3 in the NOx and NH3-rich urban environments like Seoul.
This study investigates a synergistic role of transported regional haze in increasing local...
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