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Physical and Optical Properties of Atmospheric Aerosols in Summer at a Suburban Site in North China

Category: Aerosol Physics and Instrumentation

Volume: 17 | Issue: 6 | Pages: 1374-1388
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2016.12.0525
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Junxia Li 1, Peiren Li1, Liang Yuan2, Yan Yin2, Zhenzhu Wang 3, Jie Li4, Yanan Li5, Gang Ren1, Zhaoxin Cai1

  • 1 Weather Modification Office, Meteorological Bureau of Shanxi, Shanxi 030032, China
  • 2 School of Atmospheric Physics, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Jiangsu 210044, China
  • 3 Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Composition and Optical Radiation, Anhui Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Anhui 230031, China
  • 4 LAPC, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China
  • 5 Meteorological Observation Center of CMA, Centre for Atmosphere Watch and Services, Beijing 100081, China


Statistical characteristics of aerosol particles were obtained.
The diurnal variations of aerosol physical and optical properties were analyzed.
NPF events were detailed described.
The Potential Source Contribution for the central area of Shanxi was simulated.


The physical and optical properties of atmospheric aerosols at a suburban site in North China were continuously measured from July 20, 2014 to August 30, 2014. The particle number concentration (Na), mass concentration (Ma), geometric mean diameter (GMD), scattering coefficient (σsc), and Angström exponent (α) were calculated. The potential source contribution was also analyzed. The results revealed that the average Na, Ma, GMD, σsc, and α values reached 19653.2 cm–3, 17.7 µg m–3, 44.38 nm, 186.7 Mm–1, and 1.77, respectively, in non-rainy days and 14323.1 cm–3, 15.3 µg m–3, 44.98 nm, 226.9 Mm–1, and 1.87, respectively, in rainy days. Small-sized aerosols (< 100 nm) dominated the total aerosol numbers under clear conditions. The diurnal variation of Na showed one peak, usually appearing at 12:00, which could be correlated with new particle formation (NPF) events. Most NPF events began at 08:00–10:00 and continued until 12:00–14:00. The average particle formation rate (FR) and particle growth rate (GR) were 1.93 cm–3 s–1 and 7.24 nm h–1, respectively. The diurnal variation of Ma showed two peaks, at 7:00 and 21:00, which were caused by local or regional transport of urban plumes. A potential source contribution function (PSCF) analysis indicated that aerosol potential sources in Xinzhou were mainly concentrated in the relatively developed, densely populated areas, particularly in some areas to the east and southeast of Shanxi, and the PSCF values of these areas were higher than 0.6.


Atmospheric aerosol Size distribution Scattering coefficient NPF event

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