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Characteristics of air pollution in different zones of Sichuan Basin, China

The Science of the total environment | 13 Sep 2017

G Ning, S Wang, M Ma, C Ni, Z Shang, J Wang and J Li
Sichuan Basin, located in southwest China, has been ranked as the fourth of heavily air polluted regions in China partly due to its deep mountain-basin topography. However, spatial-temporal distribution of air pollution over the basin is still unclear due to the lack of monitoring data and poor knowledge. Since January 2015, six criteria air pollutants began to be monitored in 20 cities across the basin. The measured data enable us to analyze the basin-wide spatial-temporal distribution characteristics of these air pollutants. Results revealed heavy air pollution in the bottom zone, medium in the slope zone, and light pollution in the edge zone of the Basin in terms of the altitudes of air quality monitoring stations across the Basin. The average concentrations of PM2.5 and PM10 were 55.87μg/m(3) and 86.49μg/m(3) in the bottom, 33.76μg/m(3) and 63.33μg/m(3) in the slope, and 19.71μg/m(3) and 35.06μg/m(3) in the edge, respectively. In the bottom and slope of the basin, high PM2.5 concentration events occurred most frequently in winter. While in summer, ozone became primary pollutant. Among the six air pollutants, concentrations of PM2.5 and PM10 decrease dramatically with increasing altitude which was fitted by a nonlinear relationship between particulate matter (PM) concentrations and altitude. This relationship was validated by extinction coefficient profiles from CALIPSO observations and EV-lidar data, and hence used to reflect vertical distribution of air PM concentrations. It has been found that the thickness of higher PM concentrations is less than 500m in the basin. In the bottom of the basin, PM concentrations exhibited stronger horizontal homogeneities as compared with those in the North China Plain and Yangtze River Delta. However, gaseous pollutants seemed not to show clear relationships between their concentrations and altitudes in the basin. Their horizontal homogeneities were less significant compared to PM.
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Regions of China, Air Quality Index, Yangtze River, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Particulate, Smog, Pollution, Air pollution
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