Chung-Shin Yuan This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.1,2, Yen-Lun Su1, Tsung-Chang Li1, Yu-Lun Tseng1, Hsueh-Lung Chuang1

1 Institute of Environmental Engineering, National Sun Yat-sen University, Kaohsiung 80424, Taiwan
2 Aerosol Research Center, National Sun Yat-sen University, Kaohsiung 80424, Taiwan


Received: June 12, 2020
Revised: August 4, 2020
Accepted: August 5, 2020

 Copyright The Author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are cited.

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Yuan, C.S., Su, Y.L., Li, T.C., Tseng, Y.L. and Chuang, H.L. (2020). Spatiotemporal Variation and Chemical Fingerprints of Marine Fine Particles (PM2.5) at the Matsu Islands in Northern Taiwan Strait. Aerosol Air Qual. Res.


  • WSIs dominated PM5 with the abundant of secondary inorganic aerosols.
  • High trace metals and SOC appeared during the ANEM periods.
  • Long-range transport accounted for 28–68% of marine PM5 at the Matsu Islands.


This study investigated the spatial distribution and seasonal/diurnal variation of PM2.5 and their chemical composition at the Matsu Islands in the northern Taiwan Strait. Four offshore islands were selected to simultaneously sample PM2.5. 12- or 24-hr sampling of PM2.5 was conducted with a PQ-200 sampler for both regular and intensive samplings. This study further selected six predominant local sources to collect PM2.5 samples for further chemical analysis, which coordinated chemical mass balance (CMB) receptor model to resolve the source apportionment of PM2.5. The lowest seasonal average concentration of PM2.5 was observed in summer. The concentration of PM2.5 rose up significantly under the influences of Asian Northeastern Monsoons (ANEM) in winter and spring. In terms of spatial distribution, PM2.5 concentration had a tendency to descent from the west to the east gradually, and the Nankan Island (Site NK) always had the highest PM2.5 concentration while compared to the other three islands in all seasons. Water-soluble ions (WSIs) were the dominant content of PM2.5 with the abundant of secondary inorganic aerosols (SIAs) which accounted for approximately 69.8% of WSIs and 45.5% of PM2.5. Crustal elements dominated the metallic content of PM2.5, while the concentration and contribution of trace metals increased during the ANEM. Organic carbons (OC) dominated the carbonaceous content of PM2.5 in all seasons, and OC/EC values ranged from 1.64 to 3.78. The CMB receptor modeling results showed that the major sources of PM2.5 at the Matsu Islands were road dust, industrial boilers, secondary aerosols, vehicular exhausts, and sea salts. During the poor air quality periods, the major transport routes of air masses came from the north transport route (N-route) and the anticyclonic outflow route (AO-route). Overall, long-range transport accounted for 28~68% of PM2.5 at the Matsu Islands, indicating that PM2.5 was contributed from both long-range transport and local source emissions.

Keywords: Matsu Islands; Marine fine particles; Spatiotemporal variation; Chemical fingerprints; Source apportionment.

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