Li, WJ; Zhou, SZ; Wang, XF; Xu, Z; Yuan, C; Yu, YC; Zhang, QZ; Wang, WX (2011). Integrated evaluation of aerosols from regional brown hazes over northern China in winter: Concentrations, sources, transformation, and mixing states. JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-ATMOSPHERES, 116, D09301.
To evaluate the wintertime regional brown haze in northern China, trace gases and aerosols were measured at an urban site between 9 and 20 November 2009. Ion chromatography and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) were used to investigate soluble ions in PM(2.5) and the mixing state of individual particles. The contrasts between clear and hazy days were examined in detail. Concentrations of the primary gases including NO (55.62 ppbv), NO(2) (54.86 ppbv), SO(2) (83.03 ppbv), and CO (2.07 ppmv) on hazy days were 2 to 6 times higher than those on clear days. In contrast, concentrations of O(3) remained low (5.71 ppbv) on hazy days. Mass concentrations of PM(2.5) (135.90 mu g m(-3)) and BC (7.85 mu g m(-3)) were 3 times higher on hazy days than on clear days. Based on the estimations from TEM analysis, fractions of both ammoniated sulfate (AS)-soot (20%) and AS-soot/organic matter/fly ash (20%) were larger on hazy days than on clear days (13% and 12%), implying that coagulation is an important mixing process in the polluted air. The SO(2) emissions from coal combustion for power plants, industrial activities, and household heating led to high concentrations. Also, high concentrations of secondary sulfates significantly formed in the haze. Therefore, high concentrations of acidic gases contributed to the increased mass and number of secondary aerosols. Our study indicates that metal-catalyzed oxidation in the aqueous phase is a major pathway of sulfate formation. The mixtures of aerosol particles, together with MODIS images, suggest that the hazes covered not only the industrial cities, but extended into the neighboring rural regions.