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A Study on Distance Transport of PM2.5 to Xianlin in Nanjing, China and its Source Areas

Category: Urban Air Quality

Volume: 17 | Issue: 7 | Pages: 1772-1783
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2016.08.0366

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To cite this article:
Cheng, F., Zha, Y., Zhang, J., He, J. and Yan, S. (2017). A Study on Distance Transport of PM2.5 to Xianlin in Nanjing, China and its Source Areas. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 17: 1772-1783. doi: 10.4209/aaqr.2016.08.0366.

Feng Cheng1, Yong Zha 1, Jiahua Zhang 2, Junliang He3, Shiyong Yan4

  • 1 Jiangsu Center for Collaborative Innovation in Geographical Information Resource Development and Application, Key Laboratory of Virtual Geographic Environment of Ministry of Education, College of Geographic Science, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing 210097, China
  • 2 Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100094, China
  • 3 Department of Resources and Environment, Shijiazhuang University, Shijiazhuang 050035, China
  • 4 School of Environment Science and Spatial Information, China University of Mining and Technology, , Xu Zhou 221116, China


PM2.5 transport pathways and source areas in Nanjing, China were determined.
A new index called pollution source strength was proposed.
PM2.5 concentration level varies regularly with season.


With rapid economic development in China, the concentration of particulate matters emitted into the atmosphere has become increasingly higher. As an important city in the Yangtze River delta, Nanjing City in China has a high PM2.5 concentration level, due partly to the long-range transport of PM2.5 from elsewhere. It is important to study the transport pathways and PM2.5 source areas as the results can serve as scientific evidence for prevention of regional air pollution. In this study, we analyzed the 2013–2016 PM2.5 concentration data at Xianlin in Nanjing City, China. After being clustered to determine the transport pathways, backward trajectory data underwent potential source contribution function (PSCF) and trajectory sector analysis so as to identify potential PM2.5 source areas. A new index called pollution source strength was proposed to indicate the level of pollution in an administrative region. Our results indicate that the concentration of PM2.5 at Xianlin in the city and externally sourced PM2.5 are high in winter, but much lower in summer. The external source areas also show some spatiotemporal regularities. External PM2.5 source areas lie chiefly to the south and southwest of Xianlin, Nanjing City in spring, but mostly to the southeast in summer, to the southeast and northwest in autumn, and to the northwest and northeast with a broader distribution in winter.


PM2.5 Distance transport Backward trajectory PSCF Trajectory sector analysis

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