Jun Zou This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.1,2,3, Jianning Sun This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.1,2,3, Te Li1,2, Xiaomen Han1,2, Zixuan Xiang1,2, Jie Sha1,2

1 Joint International Research Laboratory of Atmospheric and Earth System Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing, China
2 School of Atmospheric Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing, China
3 Collaborative Innovation Center of Climate Change, Jiangsu Province, China

Received: June 28, 2020
Revised: October 10, 2020
Accepted: October 12, 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.

Download Citation: ||https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.2020.06.0354  

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Cite this article:

Zou, J., Sun, J., Li, T., Han, X., Xiang, Z., Sha, J. (2021). Observed Interactions Among Haze, Fog and Atmospheric Boundary Layer during a Haze-fog Episode in the Yangtze River Delta Region, Eastern China. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 21, 200354. https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.2020.06.0354


  • Potential temperature jump existed at fog-top suppresses PBLH growth.
  • Wet deposition effect of fog on PM2.5 is negligible without precipitation.
  • Low PBLH is favorable for air moisture accumulation, thus good for fog formation.


A severe haze-fog episode occurred in the Yangtze River Delta region of eastern China during 22–30 November, 2018. In this period, the PM2.5 mass concentration and meteorological parameters at the surface were collected at the Station for Observing Regional Processes of the Earth System site in Nanjing. The vertical distributions of PM2.5, humidity and potential temperature below 500 m were observed simultaneously by an unmanned aerial vehicle, and the profile of potential temperature at 1400 local standard time on each day was also observed by radiosonde at the same site. During the first four days, the PM2.5 mass concentration increased, the maximum convective planetary boundary layer height (CBLH) decreased, and the air humidity increased. These are favorable conditions for fog formation. In the latter five days, fog formed on four days, with a lowering of the CBLH and a further increase in PM2.5 mass concentration. We found that the fog top cooling induced a potential temperature jump (i.e., sharp increase of potential temperature) with much warmer temperatures above the cloud top cooling and that this particular thermal structure was maintained until the end of the fog period, which significantly suppressed the daytime development of the planetary boundary layer after fog dissipation. The fog-induced reduction of the CBLH further increased the PM2.5 mass concentration. We also found that the wet deposition of fog on PM2.5 was negligible. The scavenging effect of fog on aerosols only acts during a fog period. When the fog dissipates, the aerosols are liberated from the fog droplets to the atmosphere.

Keywords: Haze-fog episode, Potential temperature jump, Planetary boundary layer height, PM2.5

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