Seoyoung Lee1, Jaemin Hong1, Yeseul Cho1, Myungje Choi1, Jhoon Kim1,2, Sang Seo Park3, Joon-Young Ahn4, Sang-Kyun Kim4, Kyung-Jung Moon4, Thomas F. Eck5, Brent N. Holben5, Ja-Ho Koo 1

Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Yonsei University, Seoul 03722, Korea
Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Seoul National University, Gwanakgu, Seoul 08826, Korea
National Institute of Environmental Research, Incheon 22689, Korea
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA

Received: December 3, 2017
Revised: April 11, 2018
Accepted: April 28, 2018
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Cite this article:
Lee, S., Hong, J., Cho, Y., Choi, M., Kim, J., Park, S.S., Ahn, J.Y., Kim, S.K., Moon, K.J., Eck, T.F., Holben, B.N. and Koo, J.H. (2018). Characteristics of Classified Aerosol Types in South Korea during the MAPS-Seoul Campaign. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 18: 2195-2206.


  • Various aerosol type classifications are compared for the MAPS-Seoul.
  • Regional aerosol types in Korea look latitudinal different.
  • Short-range air-mass transport relates to the most dominant aerosol types.


During the Megacity Air Pollution Studies-Seoul (MAPS-Seoul) campaign from May to June 2015, aerosol optical properties in Korea were obtained based on the AERONET sunphotometer measurement at five sites (Anmyon, Gangneung_WNU, Gosan_SNU, Hankuk_UFS, and Yonsei_University). Using this dataset, we examine regional aerosol types by applying a number of known aerosol classification methods. We thoroughly utilize five different methods to categorize the regional aerosol types and evaluate the results from each method by inter-comparison. The differences and similarities among the results are also discussed, contingent upon the usage of AERONET inversion products, such as the single scattering albedo. Despite several small differences, all five methods suggest the same general features in terms of the regionally dominant aerosol type: Fine-mode aerosols with highly absorbing radiative properties dominate at Hankuk_UFS and Yonsei_University; non-absorbing fine-mode particles form a large portion of the aerosol at Gosan_SNU; and coarse-mode particles cause some effects at Anmyon. The analysis of 3-day back-trajectories is also performed to determine the relationship between classified types at each site and the regional transport pattern. In particular, the spatiotemporally short-scale transport appears to have a large influence on the local aerosol properties. As a result, we find that the domestic emission in Korea significantly contributes to the high dominance of radiation-absorbing aerosols in the Seoul metropolitan area and the air-mass transport from China largely affects the western coastal sites, such as Anmyon and Gosan_SNU.

Keywords: Aerosol type classification; Optical property; AERONET; MAPS.


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