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© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 04 Mar 2019

Submitted as: research article | 04 Mar 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Vertical distribution of atmospheric particulate matters within urban boundary layer in southern China: size-segregated chemical composition and secondary formation through cloud processing and heterogeneous reactions

Shengzhen Zhou1,8, Luolin Wu1, Junchen Guo1, Weihua Chen2, Xuemei Wang2, Jun Zhao1, Yafang Cheng2,7, Zuzhao Huang3, Jinpu Zhang4, Yele Sun5, Pingqing Fu6, Shiguo Jia1, Yanning Chen4, and Junxia Kuang4 Shengzhen Zhou et al.
  • 1School of Atmospheric Sciences, and Guangdong Province Key Laboratory for Climate Change and Natural Disaster Studies, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, 510275, P. R. China
  • 2Institute for Environmental and Climate Research, Jinan University, Guangzhou, 511443, P. R. China
  • 3Guangzhou Environmental Technology Center, Guangzhou, 510180, P. R. China
  • 4Guangzhou Environmental Monitoring Center, Guangzhou, 510030, P. R. China
  • 5State Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Boundary Layer Physics and Atmospheric Chemistry, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100029, P. R. China
  • 6Institute of Surface-Earth System Science, Tianjin University, Tianjin, 300072, P. R. China
  • 7Multiphase Chemistry Department, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, P.O. Box 3060, Mainz, 55128, Germany
  • 8Southern Laboratory of Ocean Science and Engineering (Guangdong, Zhuhai), 519082, P. R. China

Abstract. Great progress has been made recently in the understanding of the sources and formation mechanisms of atmospheric aerosols at the ground level. However, vertical profiles and sources of size-resolved particulate matter within the urban boundary layer are still lacking. In this study, vertical distribution characteristics of size-segregated particles were investigated at three observation platforms (ground, 118 m and 488 m) on the 610-meter-high Canton Tower in Guangzhou, China. Size-segregated aerosol samples were simultaneously collected at the three levels on the Canton Tower in autumn and winter, respectively. Major aerosol components, including water-soluble ions, organic carbon and elemental carbon, were measured. The results showed that daily average fine-particle concentrations generally decreased with height. Concentrations of sulfate and ammonium in fine particles displayed small vertical gradients and nitrate concentrations increased with height in autumn, while the above chemical components showed greater variations in winter than in autumn. The size distributions of sulfate and ammonium in both seasons were characterized by dominant unimodal droplet modes with a peak at the size range of 0.44–1.0 μm. In autumn, the nitrate size distribution was bi-modal, peaking at 0.44–1.0 μm and 2.5–10 μm, while it was unimodal in winter, implying that the formation mechanisms for nitrate particles were different in the two seasons. Our results suggest droplet mode sulfate and nitrate are likely formed from aqueous-phase reactions and coarse mode nitrate formation is attributed to heterogeneous reactions of gaseous nitric acid on existing sea-derived coarse particles in autumn at the measurement site. The results from pollution cases study further showed that atmospheric aqueous-phase and heterogeneous reactions together with adverse weather conditions, such as temperature inversion and calm wind, resulted in the autumn and winter haze pollution in the PRD region.

Shengzhen Zhou et al.
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Status: final response (author comments only)
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Shengzhen Zhou et al.
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Short summary
In this work, measurements of size-segregated aerosols were conducted at three altitudes (the ground level, 118 m and 488 m) on the 610-meter-high Canton Tower in southern China. Vertical variations of PM and size-segregated chemical compositions were investigated. The results indicated that meteorological parameters and atmospheric aqueous and heterogeneous reactions altogether led to aerosol formation and haze episodes in the PRD region during the measurement periods.
In this work, measurements of size-segregated aerosols were conducted at three altitudes (the...