Kim, HS; Chung, YS; Lee, SG (2012). Characteristics of aerosol types during large-scale transport of air pollution over the Yellow Sea region and at Cheongwon, Korea, in 2008. ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING AND ASSESSMENT, 184(4), 1973-1984.
Episodes of large-scale transport of airborne dust and anthropogenic pollutant particles from different sources in the East Asian continent in 2008 were identified by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration satellite RGB (red, green, and blue)-composite images and the mass concentrations of ground level particulate matter. These particles were divided into dust, sea salt, smoke plume, and sulfate by an aerosol classification algorithm. To analyze the aerosol size distribution during large-scale transport of atmospheric aerosols, aerosol optical depth (AOD) and fine aerosol weighting (FW) of moderate imaging spectroradiometer aerosol products were used over the East Asian region. Six episodes of massive airborne dust particles, originating from sandstorms in northern China, Mongolia, and the Loess Plateau of China, were observed at Cheongwon. Classified dust aerosol types were distributed on a large-scale over the Yellow Sea region. The average PM10 and PM2.5 ratio to the total mass concentration TSP were 70% and 15%, respectively. However, the mass concentration of PM2.5 among TSP increased to as high as 23% in an episode where dust traveled in by way of an industrial area in eastern China. In the other five episodes of anthropogenic pollutant particles that flowed into the Korean Peninsula from eastern China, the anthropogenic pollutant particles were largely detected in the form of smoke over the Yellow Sea region. The average PM10 and PM2.5 ratios to TSP were 82% and 65%, respectively. The ratio of PM2.5 mass concentrations among TSP varied significantly depending on the origin and pathway of the airborne dust particles. The average AOD for the large-scale transport of anthropogenic pollutant particles in the East Asian region was measured to be 0.42 +/- 0.17, which is higher in terms of the rate against atmospheric aerosols as compared with the AOD (0.36 +/- 0.13) for airborne dust particles with sandstorms. In particular, the region ranging from eastern China, the Yellow Sea, and the Korean Peninsula to the Korea East Sea was characterized by high AOD distributions. In the episode of anthropogenic polluted aerosols, FW averaged 0.63 +/- 0.16, a value higher than that in the episode of airborne dust particles (0.52 +/- 0.13) with sandstorms, showing that fine anthropogenic pollutant particles contribute greatly to atmospheric aerosols in East Asia.