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Measurements of ozone and its precursors in Beijing during summertime: impact of urban plumes on ozone pollution in downwind rural areas

Author(s): J. Xu | J. Z. Ma | X. L. Zhang | X. B. Xu | X. F. Xu | W. L. Lin | Y. Wang | W. Meng | Z. Q. Ma

Journal: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions
ISSN 1680-7367

Volume: 11;
Issue: 6;
Start page: 17337;
Date: 2011;
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Sea-land and mount-valley circulations are the dominant mesoscale synoptic systems affecting the Beijing area during summertime. Under the influence of these two circulations, the prevailing wind is southwesterly from afternoon to midnight, and then changes to northeasterly till forenoon. In this study, surface ozone (O3), carbon monoxide (CO), nitric oxide (NO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), nitrogen oxide (NOx) and non-methane hydrocarbons (NMHCs) were measured at four sites located along the route of prevailing wind, including two upwind urban sites (Fengtai (FT) and Baolian (BL)), an upwind suburban site (Shunyi (SY)) and a downwind rural site (Shangdianzi (SDZ)) during 20 June–16 September 2007. The purpose is to improve our understanding of ozone photochemistry in urban and rural areas of Beijing and the influence of urban plumes on ozone pollution in downwind rural areas. It is found that ozone pollution was synchronism in the urban and rural areas of Beijing, coinciding with the regional-scale synoptic processes. Due to the high traffic density and local emissions, the average levels of reactive gases NOx and NMHCs at the non-rural sites were much higher than those at SDZ. The level of long-lived gas CO at SDZ was comparable to and slightly lower than it was at other sites. The daily-averaged ozone concentration at SDZ was much higher than at other sites due to weak titration. Ranking by OH loss rate coefficient (LOH), alkenes played a dominant role in total NMHCs reactivity at both urban and rural sites during the experiment, accounting for 48.6 % and 52.1 % of total LOH, respectively. The NMHCs data were also used to estimate the ozone potential formation (OFP) in Beijing. The leading contributors to ozone formation were aromatics at both urban and rural sites during the experiment, which accounts for 55.5 % and 49.4 % of total OFP, respectively. The ozone peak values are found to lag behind one site after another along the route of prevailing wind from SW to NE. Intersection analyses of trace gases reveal that polluted air masses arriving at SDZ were more aged with both higher O3 and Ox concentrations than those at BL. The results indicate that urban plume can transport not only O3 but its precursors, the latter leading more photochemical O3 production when being mixed with background atmosphere in the downwind rural area.

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