Jian Hao1,2, Yan Yin 1,2, Xiang Kuang1, Jinghua Chen1, Liang Yuan1, Hui Xiao1, Zihua Li1, Meijuan Pu3, Jia Wang3, Xuedong Zhou3, Yuwen Chen3, Yixiao Wu3

  • 1 Collaborative Innovation Center on Forecast and Evaluation of Meteorological Disasters, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210044, China
  • 2 Key Laboratory for Aerosol-Cloud-Precipitation of China Meteorological Administration, School of Atmospheric Physics, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210044, China
  • 3 Meteorological Bureau of Jiangsu Province, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210008, China

Received: December 28, 2016
Revised: March 22, 2017
Accepted: April 17, 2017
Download Citation: ||https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.2016.12.0576  

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Cite this article:
Hao, J., Yin, Y., Kuang, X., Chen, J., Yuan, L., Xiao, H., Li, Z., Pu, M., Wang, J., Zhou, X., Chen, Y. and Wu, Y. (2017). Aircraft Measurements of the Aerosol Spatial Distribution and Relation with Clouds over Eastern China. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 17: 3230-3243. https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.2016.12.0576


  • The spatical distribution of aerosol and clouds was measured over Eastern China.
  • Aerosol vertical profiles are influenced by meteorological factor and PBL structure.
  • Aerosol can be removed when clouds presented.
  • Cloud droplets with size of 3.5–10 µm took main responsibility for aerosol removal.



To investigate the spectral and spatial distribution characteristics of aerosol particles over eastern China, this study conducted a set of aircraft measurements during August 12–28, 2014, over Anhui province, China. The aerosol number concentration and size distributions from five flights as well as the cloud and meteorological parameters were analyzed. In Anhui province, the average number concentration of aerosol particles in the size range of 0.1–3.0 µm was 481 ± 199 cm–3, and accumulation mode particles accounted for more than 95% of the total aerosol particles. Most of the aerosol particles were concentrated in the layer below 1000 m, where the number concentration decreased with the altitude, except in the presence of thermal inversion layers (TILs). The TILs prevented the vertical transport of aerosol particles, and led to a higher number concentration in the boundary layer. A large fraction of aerosol particles was removed when clouds were present, and the removed in-cloud aerosols lead to an increase in cloud droplet concentrations for the size range of 3.5–10.0 µm. Our results are valuable for understanding the spatial distribution of aerosol particles and their interactions with clouds.

Keywords: Aircraft observation; Aerosol spatial distribution; Aerosol removal in clouds

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