Xiujuan Zhao This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.1, Zhaobin Sun1, Yele Sun2, Ting Yang2, Dan Chen1, Ziming Li3, Yajun Xiong3, Guiqian Tang2 

1 Institute of Urban Meteorology, Chinese Meteorological Administration, Beijing 100089, China
2 State Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Boundary Layer Physics and Atmospheric Chemistry, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China
3 Environmental Meteorology Forecast Center of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei, Beijing 100089, China

Received: October 13, 2020
Revised: March 20, 2021
Accepted: April 25, 2021

 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.200593  

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Cite this article:

Zhao, X., Sun, Z., Sun, Y., Yang, T., Chen, D., Li, Z., Xiong, Y., Tang G. (2021). Three-dimensional Thermal and Dynamic Structure in Synoptic and Local Scale and its Influence on Haze Formation during Autumn in Beijing. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 21, 200593. https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.200593


  • Indicators of vertical meteorological conditions on haze formation were studied quantitatively
  • The debatable question on regional transport under surface stagnant condition was explained.
  • Effects of interaction between topography and meteorology on haze evolution were investigated.


This study investigates the vertical thermal and dynamic structure of the atmosphere on synoptic and local scales from a three-dimensional perspective and its contribution to haze formation in Beijing during autumn. On a synoptic scale, the occurrence of heavy haze corresponds either to significant horizontal pollutant transport by southerly winds or to strong atmospheric vertical stability with downward air motion at altitudes below ~1500–3000 m; hence, meteorological parameters measured below ~1500 m serve as better indicators of pollutant transport and dispersion than surface observations. When accompanied by increased southerly winds, the upward air motion between the ground and altitudes above ~1500 m can transport pollutants from surrounding areas to Beijing, resulting in a rapid increase in PM2.5 (within several hours) despite weak winds on the surface, which confirms the possibility of regional transport during stagnant surface conditions and its potential role in haze formation.

Additionally, the mountain-plain breeze in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei (BTH) region during autumn drives strong local wind circulation, influencing the cumulative stage of haze episodes in this season. During the daytime, this breeze pushes pollutants to areas along the mountains and then to Beijing, resulting in a day-by-day increase in pollution. (By contrast, winter haze episodes arise from the accumulation of local pollution under stable meteorological conditions.) The combination of easterly winds and local topography can induce the formation and dissipation of haze, with the orographic effect propelling the haze into higher layers that host the transport of PM2.5 to the southeast. Afterward, southerly winds carry this pollution plume back along the mountain front, where it merges with surface pollutants through vertical mixing, finally this mixed plume arrived Beijing and contributes to the development of the next haze episode.

Keywords: Haze formation, Vertical thermal and dynamic structure, Mountain-plain breeze circulation, Topographic effect

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