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Long-range transport of air pollutants originating in China: A possible major cause of multi-day high-PM10 episodes during cold season in Seoul, Korea

Journal article
Authors H. R. Oh
C. H. Ho
J. Kim
Deliang Chen
S. Lee
Y. S. Choi
L. S. Chang
C. K. Song
Published in Atmospheric Environment
Volume 109
Pages 23-30
ISSN 1352-2310
Publication year 2015
Published at Department of Earth Sciences
Pages 23-30
Language en
Keywords China, Long-lasting, PM10 episode, Seoul, Trans-boundary transport
Subject categories Environmental Sciences


Massive air pollutants originating in China and their trans-boundary transports are an international concern in East Asia. Despite its importance, details in the trans-boundary transport of air pollutants over East Asia and its impact on regional air quality remain to be clarified. This study presents an evidence which strong support that aerosols emitting in China play a major role in the occurrence of multi-day (≥4 days) severe air pollution episodes in cold seasons (October through March) for 2001-2013 in Seoul, Korea, where the concentration of PM10 (particulates with diameters≤10μm) exceeds 100μgm-3. Observations show that these multi-day severe air pollution episodes occur when a strong high-pressure system resides over the eastern China-Korea region. In such weather conditions, air pollutants emitted in eastern China/southwestern Manchuria are trapped within the atmospheric boundary layer, and gradually spread into neighboring countries by weak lower tropospheric westerlies. Understanding of trans-boundary transports of air pollutants will advance the predictability of local air quality, and will encourage the development of international measures to improve air quality. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

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