Importance of mineral dust and anthropogenic pollutants mixing during a long-lasting high PM event over East Asia

Zhe Wang, Xiaole Pan, Itsushi Uno, Xueshun Chen, Shigekazu Yamamoto, Haitao Zheng, Jie Li, Zifa Wang

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30 Citations (Scopus)


A long-lasting high particulate matter (PM) concentration episode persisted over East Asia from May 24 to June 3, 2014. The Nested Air Quality Prediction Model System (NAQPMS) was used to investigate the mixing of dust and anthropogenic pollutants during this episode. Comparison of observations revealed that the NAQPMS successfully reproduced the time series PM2.5 and PM10 concentrations, as well as the nitrate and sulfate concentrations in fine (aerodynamic diameter ≤ 2.5 μm) and coarse mode (2.5 μm < aerodynamic diameter ≤ 10 μm). This episode originated from two dust events that occurred in the inland desert areas of Mongolia and China, and then the long-range transported dust and anthropogenic pollutants were trapped over the downwind region of East Asia for more than one week due to the blocked north Pacific subtropical high-pressure system over the east of Japan. The model results showed that mineral dust accounted for 53–83% of PM10, and 39–67% of PM2.5 over five cities in East Asia during this episode. Sensitivity analysis indicated that the Qingdao and Seoul regions experienced dust and pollution twice, by direct transport from the dust source region and from dust detoured over the Shanghai area. The results of the NAQPMS model confirmed the importance of dust heterogeneous reactions (HRs) over East Asia. Simulated dust NO3 concentrations accounted for 75% and 84% of total NO3 in fine and coarse mode, respectively, in Fukuoka, Japan. The horizontal distribution of model results revealed that the ratio of dust NO3/dust concentration increased from about 1% over the Chinese land mass to a maximum of 8% and 6% respectively in fine and coarse mode over the ocean to the southeast of Japan, indicating that dust NO3 was mainly formed over the Yellow Sea and the East China Sea before reaching Japan. Capsule abstract: Mineral dust and related heterogeneous reactions had dominant impacts on the concentration of PM as well as nitrate and sulfate over East Asia during a long-lasting high PM episode.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)368-378
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Toxicology
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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