Tsung Chang Li1, Chung Shin Yuan 1,3, Kuo Cheng Lo2, Chung Hsuang Hung 2, Shui Ping Wu3, Chuan Tong4

  • 1 Institute of Environmental Engineering, National Sun Yat-Sen University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
  • 2 Department of Safety Health and Environmental Engineering, National Kaohsiung First University of Science and Technology, Kaohsiung, Taiwan, ROC
  • 3 College of Ecology and Environment, Xiamen University, Xiamen, China
  • 4 School of Geographic Science, Fujian Normal University, Fujian, China

Received: March 20, 2015
Revised: June 11, 2015
Accepted: June 11, 2015
Download Citation: ||https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.2015.03.0153  

Cite this article:
Li, T.C., Yuan, C.S., Lo, K.C., Hung, C.H., Wu, S.P. and Tong, C. (2015). Seasonal Variation and Chemical Characteristics of Atmospheric Particles at Three Islands in the Taiwan Strait. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 15: 2277-2290. https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.2015.03.0153


  • Long-term data of the island and coastal regions were resolved in the Taiwan Strait.
  • Long-term sampling of PM10 in three major islands and relevant coastal regions.
  • Both prevailing winds and sea-land breezes highly influenced the ambient air quality.
  • Superimposition phenomenon caused by the local sources and long-range transportation.



The seasonal variation and spatial distribution of atmospheric particles at three islands in the Taiwan Strait were investigated. Atmospheric particles (PM10) were collected at three offshore islands (i.e., Kinmen islands, Matsu islands, and Penghu Islands) and two coastal regions (i.e., Xiamen and Fuzhou) in the years of 2008–2012. Field sampling results indicated that the average PM10 concentrations at the Kinmen islands were generally higher than other sampling sites, suggesting that a superimposition phenomenon was regularly observed during the air pollution episodes at Kinmen Islands and Xiamen region. PM10 samples were analyzed for their chemical composition, including water-soluble ions, metallic elements, and carbonaceous content. The most abundant water-soluble ionic species of PM10 were recognized as SO42–, NO3, and NH4+, indicating that PM10 was mainly composed of secondary inorganic aerosols. Although natural crustal elements dominated the metallic content of PM10, the most abundant anthropogenic metals of PM10 were Zn and Pb. Enrichment factor calculations showed that Ni, Cr, and Zn were the enriched elements emitted mainly from anthropogenic sources. Moreover, the OC concentration of PM10 was always higher than that of EC at all sampling sites. High OC/EC ratios of PM10 were commonly observed at the sampling sites on the Matsu Islands, the Fuzhou region, and the Penghu Islands. Source apportionment results indicated that vehicular exhausts were the main source of PM10, and followed by industrial boilers, secondary aerosols, soil dusts, biomass burning, petrochemical plants, steel plants, oceanic spray, and cement plants at the island and coastal sampling sites in the Taiwan Strait.

Keywords: Source apportionment; Atmospheric particles in the Taiwan Strait; Superimposition phenomenon; Chemical characteristics; Spatiotemporal distribution

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