Atmospheric Environment (v.41, #2)

Source apportionment of VOCs in the Los Angeles area using positive matrix factorization by Steven G. Brown; Anna Frankel; Hilary R. Hafner (227-237).
Eight 3-h speciated hydrocarbon measurements were collected daily by the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) as part of the Photochemical Assessment Monitoring Stations (PAMS) program during the summers of 2001–03 at two sites in the Los Angeles air basin, Azusa and Hawthorne. Over 30 hydrocarbons from over 500 samples at Azusa and 600 samples at Hawthorne were subsequently analyzed using the multivariate receptor model positive matrix factorization (PMF). At Azusa and Hawthorne, five and six factors were identified, respectively, with a good comparison between predicted and measured mass. At Azusa, evaporative emissions (a median of 31% of the total mass), motor vehicle exhaust (22%), liquid/unburned gasoline (27%), coatings (17%), and biogenic emissions (3%) factors were identified. Factors identified at Hawthorne were evaporative emissions (a median of 34% of the total mass), motor vehicle exhaust (24%), industrial process losses (15%), natural gas (13%), liquid/unburned gasoline (13%), and biogenic emissions (1%). Together, the median contribution from mobile source-related factors (exhaust, evaporative emissions, and liquid/unburned gasoline) was 80% and 71% at Azusa and Hawthorne, respectively, similar to previous source apportionment results using the chemical mass balance (CMB) model. There is a difference in the distribution among mobile source factors compared to the CMB work, with an increase in the contribution from evaporative emissions, though the cause (changes in emissions or differences between models) is unknown.
Keywords: Source apportionment; PMF; VOC; PAMS; Receptor modeling;

CFD simulation of the atmospheric boundary layer: wall function problems by Bert Blocken; Ted Stathopoulos; Jan Carmeliet (238-252).
Accurate Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations of atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) flow are essential for a wide variety of atmospheric studies including pollutant dispersion and deposition. The accuracy of such simulations can be seriously compromised when wall-function roughness modifications based on experimental data for sand-grain roughened pipes and channels are applied at the bottom of the computational domain. This type of roughness modification is currently present in many CFD codes including Fluent 6.2 and Ansys CFX 10.0, previously called CFX-5. The problems typically manifest themselves as unintended streamwise gradients in the vertical mean wind speed and turbulence profiles as they travel through the computational domain. These gradients can be held responsible—at least partly—for the discrepancies that are sometimes found between seemingly identical CFD simulations performed with different CFD codes and between CFD simulations and measurements. This paper discusses the problem by focusing on the simulation of a neutrally stratified, fully developed, horizontally homogeneous ABL over uniformly rough, flat terrain. The problem and its negative consequences are discussed and suggestions to improve the CFD simulations are made.
Keywords: Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD); Numerical simulation; Atmospheric boundary layer (ABL); Sustainable boundary layer; Equilibrium vertical profiles; Horizontal homogeneity;

Adsorption of air pollutants on the grain surface of Japanese cedar pollen by Yuji Okuyama; Kiyoshi Matsumoto; Hiroshi Okochi; Manabu Igawa (253-260).
The contaminants adsorbed on the surface of pollen may affect the development of hay fever, because the patients of the fever are larger in areas with much air pollution than in nonpolluted areas and the fine particles and gases are susceptible to deposit on the nasal cavities and eyes by their transfer on the pollen. Since Japanese cedar pollinosis is the most common hay fever in Japan, we analyzed the air pollutants adsorbed on the surface of dispersed Japanese cedar pollen in the urban and mountainous districts. Fine anthropogenic particles were significantly adsorbed and many elements were concentrated on the surface of the pollen in the urban site of Yokohama, while they were not concentrated on the surface of the pollen collected at a mountainous site. The acid gases are also adsorbed and acidify the surface, and their amounts increase with their concentrations in the ambient air. The high adsorption of nitric acid on the pollen determined by an exposure experiment of nitric acid gas suggests that nitric acid is dissolved in the inner part of the pollen. The adsorption amounts of the gases on the pollen were especially greater than those on other natural particles, humic acid and yellow sand.
Keywords: Hay fever; Japanese cedar pollen; Air pollution; Aerosol; Acid gases;

This paper evaluates the role of Saharan dust advection in the exceeding of the PM10 thresholds in the city of Rome, Italy. To this purpose, a series of observations and model forecasts recorded in the year 2001 are analysed and discussed. Lidar profiles collected over 168 days of the year are employed to both assess the presence and magnitude of Saharan dust layers over the city and to evaluate the depth of the planetary boundary layer. Backtrajectories are used to verify the Saharan origin of the lidar-sounded air masses. Model predictions of the presence of Saharan dust over the area are employed to fill the time gaps between lidar observations. PM10 and carbon monoxide records of both a city background (Villa Ada) and a heavy traffic station (Magna Grecia) are cross-analysed with the dust events record and meteorological data. The analysis shows that: (1) Saharan dust was advected over Rome on about 30% of the days of 2001; (2) mean contribution of Saharan dust transport events to daily PM10 levels was of the order of 20 μg m−3; (3) at the urban background station of Villa Ada, the Saharan contribution caused the surpassing of the maximum number of days in excess of 50 μg m−3 fixed by the current legislation (35 per year). Conversely, at the heavy traffic station of Magna Grecia the Saharan contribution was not determinant at causing the observed large exceeding of that limit, as well as of the maximum yearly average of 40 μg m−3; (4) 25% of the Saharan advection days (of the order of 100/year at Rome) led to a PM10 increase >30 μg m−3, 4% caused an increase >50 μg m−3, thus leading on their own to surpassing the 50 μg m−3 daily limit.
Keywords: PM10; Saharan dust; Air quality; Lidar;

Heavy metal distribution in dust from elementary schools in Hermosillo, Sonora, México by Diana Meza-Figueroa; Margarita De la O-Villanueva; Maria Luisa De la Parra (276-288).
The city of Hermosillo, Sonora in northern Mexico was investigated for its heavy metals content. Samples of sedimented dust in roofs from 25 elementary schools were analyzed for their contents of Ni, Cr, Zn, Cd, Co, Ba, V, Pb, Fe and Cu after digestion with nitric acid. The results of the analysis were used to determine spatial distribution and magnitude of heavy metals pollution. The results of this study reveal that heavy metals distribution is different in two areas of the city. The southern area contains higher concentrations of heavy metals than the northcentral area. The mean level of Cd in exterior dust is 5.65 mg kg−1 in the southern area whereas the mean level of Cd is 2.83 mg kg−1 in the northcentral area. Elevated concentrations of Zn (2012 mg kg−1), Pb (101.88 mg kg−1), Cr (38.13 mg kg−1) and Cd (28.38 mg kg−1) in roof dust were found in samples located near industrial areas. Principal component analysis (PCA) was applied to the data matrix to evaluate the analytical results and to identify the possible pollution sources of metals. PCA shows two main sources: (1) Pb, Cd, Cr and Zn are mainly derived from industrial sources, combined with traffic sources; (2) Fe, Co and Ba are mainly derived from natural sources. V and Ni are highly correlated and possibly related to fuel combustion processes. Enrichment factors were calculated, which in turn further confirms the source identification. Ba and Co are dominantly crustal. Anthropogenically added Cd, Pb, Zn and Cr show maximum enrichment relative to the upper continental crustal component. The distribution of the heavy metals in dust does not seem to be controlled only by the topography of the city, but also by the location of the emission sources.
Keywords: Dust; Roofs; Heavy metals; Mexico;

The impact of the meteorological situation and chemistry on dry deposition to the southern North Sea is investigated. The studies are performed using a high-resolution meteorology/chemistry model system of different complexity for a five-day period in June 1998. The simulations consider passive tracer transport (Case I), gas phase chemistry (Case II), gas phase plus simple aerosol chemistry (Case III), gas phase plus size dependent aerosol chemistry (Case IV). The results show a very good agreement of meteorology model results with measured data and a reasonable agreement for the concentrations. The dry deposition to the southern North Sea differs a factor of three to seven within the investigated five-day period. Differences are larger for a more complex chemistry. The average dry deposition increases by a factor of three when including gas phase reactions or adding a simple aerosol model and up to a factor of eleven when considering a sectional aerosol model. The input composition depends on the chemistry considered.
Keywords: Coastal regions; Dry deposition; Mesoscale modelling; Nitrogen; High resolution;

There is some evidence that the initiation of warm rain is suppressed in clouds over regions with vegetation fires. Thus, the ice phase becomes important as another possibility to initiate precipitation. Numerical simulations were performed to investigate heterogeneous drop freezing for a biomass-burning situation. An air parcel model with a sectional two-dimensional description of the cloud microphysics was employed with parameterizations for immersion and contact freezing which consider the different ice nucleating efficiencies of various ice nuclei. Three scenarios were simulated resulting to mixed-phase or completely glaciated clouds. According to the high insoluble fraction of the biomass-burning particles drop freezing via immersion and contact modes was very efficient. The preferential freezing of large drops followed by riming (i.e. the deposition of liquid drops on ice particles) and the evaporation of the liquid drops (Bergeron–Findeisen process) caused a further decrease of the liquid drops’ effective radius in higher altitudes. In turn ice particle sizes increased so that they could serve as germs for graupel or hailstone formation. The effects of ice initiation on the vertical cloud dynamics were fairly significant leading to a development of the cloud to much higher altitudes than in a warm cloud without ice formation.
Keywords: Biomass burning; Heterogeneous drop freezing; Ice nuclei; Mixed-phase cloud;

The chemical composition of PM10 and PM2.5 was studied during summer and winter sampling campaigns in South and West Europe (Barcelona, Spain, and Ghent, Belgium). The chemical composition of the PM10 aerosol was markedly different in the two regions, even at similar PM10 levels. The chemical composition of PM2.5 showed more similarities. The contribution of mineral matter was higher in Barcelona (on average 12% of the PM2.5 mass), whereas the contribution from sea salt was higher in Ghent (4% of PM2.5). Volatilisation of NH4 + from the filters (negative artefact) was observed in both regions, although the extent of this artefact showed regional differences (0–4% and 22–38% of the NH4 + mass in Ghent and Barcelona, respectively) and had no impact on the compliance with EU limit values. The number of exceedances of the PM10 limit value and an arbitrary PM2.5 limit of 25 μg m−3 was calculated by subtracting the mineral fraction (natural or anthropogenic in origin) from the bulk PM load, and this resulted in the elimination of the PM10 exceedances in Barcelona, and a reduction of one out of three exceedances in Ghent. The subtraction of sea-salt aerosol had no effect in Barcelona, and it removed one exceedance in each size fraction in Ghent. Exceedances of the PM10 daily limit value in Ghent coincided with back-trajectories originating from Eastern and Southern European regions. The origin of the exceedances in Barcelona during the campaigns was mostly local.
Keywords: Urban aerosols; Daily limit value (DLV); Ambient concentration;

A numerical model, Mesoscale Model version 5 (MM5), is used in conjunction with a three-dimensional Eulerian/Lagrangian dispersion model (CAMx4) to model PM10 dispersion for a period of 48 h for the city of Christchurch, New Zealand. In a typical winter, Christchurch usually experiences severe degradation in air quality. The formation of a nocturnal temperature inversion layer during stagnant synoptic conditions, and the emissions of particulate matter (PM10) mainly from solid fuel home heating appliances (the ‘Domestic’ factor) leads to severe smog episodes on about 30 nights each winter. The modelling results from the highest resolution computational grid are compared with observed meteorology and air pollution dispersion for winter 2000, when the Christchurch Air Pollution Study (CAPS2000) was underway. The numerical modelling system is able to simulate surface-layer meteorology and PM10 spatial distribution with a good level of skill, with the Index of Agreement and Pearson's correlation coefficient greater than 0.8 for PM10.
Keywords: MM5; Cold air drainage; Conceptual model; CAPS 2000; Index of agreement; CAMx4; PM10; Air pollution; Christchurch;

Methane efflux from littoral vegetation stands of southern boreal lakes: An upscaled regional estimate by Irina Bergström; Suvi Mäkelä; Paula Kankaala; Pirkko Kortelainen (339-351).
We studied the role of vegetated littoral area in the efflux of methane (CH4) in a southern boreal landscape (1600 km2), in Finland, covered by 619 lakes. A regression model was constructed to describe the relationship between lake area or lake shoreline length and total macrophyte or total emergent macrophyte coverage. Phragmites australis and Equisetum fluviatile were by far the most widely distributed emergent macrophytes in the area with a proportion of 40% of all zone-forming macrophytes. The zone-forming floating-leaved species Nuphar lutea, Potamogeton natans and Sparganium spp. covered 44% of all vegetated littoral areas. The strong temperature dependence of the emission rates was taken into consideration in the emission estimations for P. australis and E. fluviatile. The regional efflux, estimated for the growing seasons 1998–2002, varied between 0.8×105 and 1.1×105  kg CH4 and between 1.6×105 and 2.4×105  kg CH4, respectively. The emissions from the stands of floating-leaved species were negligible compared to the emissions from stands of P. australis and E. fluviatile. This indicates that species specific emission rates and areal coverage of the dominating species, as well as ambient temperature, should all be carefully considered when estimating the total regional emissions of CH4 from lake littorals. The natural open ombrogenous bogs and minerogenous fens in the study region covered a 2.5-fold larger area than P. australis and E. fluviatile littoral, but their emissions were estimated to be only 78% of the emissions of P. australis and E. fluviatile, indicating that vegetated lake littoral is an important natural CH4 source in the region.
Keywords: Methane; Regional upscaling; Macrophyte; Lake littoral; Peatland;

Dimensionless correlations to predict VOC emissions from dry building materials by Ke Qian; Yinping Zhang; John C. Little; Xinke Wang (352-359).
Based on the most recently published mass transfer model of volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from dry building materials, it is found that the dimensionless emission rate and total emission quantity are functions of just four dimensionless parameters, the ratio of mass transfer Biot number to partition coefficient (Bi m/K), the mass transfer Fourier number (Fo m), the dimensionless air exchange rate ( 2 /D m) and the ratio of building material volume to chamber or room volume (/V). Through numerical analysis and data fitting, a group of dimensionless correlations for estimating the emission rate from dry building materials is obtained. The predictions of the correlations are validated against the predictions made by the mass transfer model. Using the correlations, the VOC emission rate from dry building materials can be conveniently calculated without having to solve the complicated mass transfer equations. Thus it is very simple to estimate VOC emissions for a given condition. The predictions of the correlations agree well with experimental data in the literature except in the initial few hours. Furthermore, based on the correlations, a relationship between the emission rates of a material in two different situations is deduced. With this relationship, the results for a given building material in a test chamber can be scaled to those under real conditions, if the dimensionless parameters are within the appropriate region for the correlations. The relationship also explicitly explains the impacts of air velocity, load ratio, and air exchange rate on the VOC emission rate, which determines the feasibility of assuming that the VOC emission rates in real conditions are the same as those in the test chambers.
Keywords: Volatile organic compounds (VOCs); Emission; Dry building material; Dimensionless correlations;

Fugitive dust emissions from stockpiles in the open storage yards of industrial sites and the subsequent atmospheric dust dispersion have brought about many ecological and economical problems. This paper introduces a new approach to estimate emission rates using data from Computational Fluid Dynamics simulations. Flow around stockpiles of varying configurations was studied using a previously validated numerical model. Different pile height scenarios, corresponding to a constant material volume and a fixed angle of repose, were exposed to various wind speeds. Flow analysis over the piles showed the importance of using 3D simulations to fully understand the close linkage between flow processes and particles uptake. Data obtained were then integrated in order to evaluate dust emission rates. Results provide evidence to suggest that changing pile configuration can reduce dust emissions. It was found that, for the range of wind conditions and pile dimensions tested, the intermediate pile height configurations lead to a better overall protecting effect from wind and thus were found to produce lower dust emissions.
Keywords: Wind erosion; Emission factors; 3D flow; Numerical simulations; Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD);

High volume electrostatic field-sampler for collection of fine particle bulk samples by Anoop Kumar Sharma; Håkan Wallin; Keld Alstrup Jensen (369-381).
A high volume electrostatic field-sampler was developed for collection of fine particles, which easily can be recovered for subsequent sample characterisation and bioassays. The sampler was based on a commercial office air cleaner and consisted of a prefilter followed by electrostatic collection plates operating at 2.7 kV. The sampler performance was characterised for 26 nm to 5.4 μm-size particles in urban street air. The collection efficiency reached a maximum (60–70%) between 0.2 and 0.8 μm and dropped to ∼25% at 30 nm and 2.5 μm, respectively. After extraction in water, the particle loss was<2%. The extraction efficiency for dry lyophilised particulate matter was above 80%, allowing retrievement of ∼12 mg day−1 in urban street air at PM10 levels of ∼24 μg m−3. The ozone generating capacity of the corona discharge during operation was on the order of 10 ppb. A polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) degradation test using benzo[a]pyrene as a model showed that ∼85% was degraded after 24 h. However, similar results were observed when the corona discharge was switched off. Hence, the ozone and other corona discharge reactants do not appear to contribute considerably to PAH-degradation. The overall results show that the sampler type is a promising alternative to traditional sampling of fine particles for bulk analysis and bioassays. The main advantages are simple operation, high stability, high quantifiable particle recovery rates and low cost.
Keywords: Aerosol sampling; Prefiltration; Electrostatic precipitation; Collection efficiency; Particle extraction;

Size dependence of in situ pH in submicron atmospheric particles in Hong Kong by Xiaohong Yao; Tsz Yan Ling; Ming Fang; Chak K. Chan (382-393).
Some studies have reported that small submicron atmospheric particles are more acidic than large submicron particles; other studies demonstrated a reversed trend. In this study, the size dependence of in situ pH in submicron particles in Hong Kong was investigated. The equivalent ratios of [NH4 +]measured to [SO4 2−]measured in submicron particles were found to be generally less than unity and size dependent, suggesting the possibility of incomplete gas–aerosol equilibrium. The Aerosol Inorganic Model-II (AIM-II) model using measured ionic compositions with the gas–aerosol partitioning disabled was used to estimate the in situ pH in different sized particles. The estimated in situ pH of different sized submicron atmospheric particles was between −2.5 and 1.5 and it generally decreases with increasing submicron particle size. At such low in situ pH, the estimated HSO4 equivalent concentrations were 3.2 times (on average) of those of H+ in different sized particles. The trends of the size dependence of the [NH4 +]measured to [SO4 2−]measured ratio and pH under different regimes of relative humidity are discussed.
Keywords: Aerosol thermodynamics; AIM; Gas–aerosol partitioning; Aerosol acidity; Water content; Hong Kong;

Annual evolution and generation mechanisms of particulate nitrate in Madrid by F.J. Gómez-Moreno; L. Núñez; J. Plaza; D. Alonso; M. Pujadas; B. Artíñano (394-406).
During the course of one year (March 2004–March 2005), PM2.5 particulate nitrate concentrations were semi-continuously measured every 10 min at a Madrid suburban site using the Rupprecht and Patashnick Series 8400N Ambient Particulate Nitrate Monitor (8400N). Gaseous pollutants (NO, NO2, O3, HCHO, HNO2) were simultaneously measured with a DOAS spectrometer (OPSIS AR-500) and complementary meteorological information was obtained by a permanent tower. The particulate nitrate concentrations ranged from the instrumental detection limit of around 0.2 μg m−3, up to a maximum of about 25 μg m−3. The minimum monthly average was reached during August (0.32 μg m−3) and the maximum during November (3.0 μg m−3). Due to the semi-volatile nature of ammonium nitrate, peaks were hardly present during summer air pollution episodes. A typical pattern during days with low dispersive conditions was characterized by a steep rise of particulate nitrate in the morning, reaching maximum values between 9 and 14 UTC, followed by a decrease during the evening. On some occasions a light increase was observed at nighttime. During spring episodes, brief diurnal nitrate peaks were recorded, while during the autumn and winter episodes, later and broader nitrate peaks were registered. Analysis of particulate nitrate and related gaseous species indicated the photo-chemical origin of the morning maxima, delayed with respect to NO and closely associated with secondary NO2 maximum values. The reverse evolution of nitrate and nitrous acid was observed after sunrise, suggesting a major contribution from HNO2 photolysis to OH formation at this time of the day, which would rapidly produce nitrate in both gaseous and particulate phase. Some nocturnal nitrate maxima appeared under high humidity conditions, and a discussion about their origin involving different possible mechanisms is presented, i.e. the possibility that these nocturnal maximum values could be related to the heterogeneous formation of nitrous and nitric acid by the hydrolysis of NO2 on wet aerosols.
Keywords: Particulate nitrate; Secondary aerosols; Inorganic aerosols; Atmospheric aerosols;

Identification, abundance and seasonal variation of anthropogenic organic aerosols from a mega-city in China by Gehui Wang; Kimitaka Kawamura; Xin Zhao; Qiuge Li; Zhaoxia Dai; Hongyun Niu (407-416).
PM2.5 aerosols were collected in Nanjing, a typical mega-city in China, during summer and winter 2004 and were characterized for aromatic and cyclic compounds using a GC/MS technique to understand the air pollution problem. They include polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), hopanes, phthalates and hydroxy-PAHs (OH-PAHs). PAHs, hopanes and OH-PAHs presented higher concentrations in winter (26–178, 3.0–18, and 0.013–0.421 ng m−3, respectively) than in summer (12–96, 1.6–11, and 0.029–0.171 ng m−3, respectively) due to an enhanced coal burning for house heating and atmospheric inversion layers developed in the cold season. In contrast, phthalates are more abundant in summer (109–368 ng m−3, average 230 ng m−3) than in winter (33–390 ng m−3, average 170 ng m−3) due to an enhanced evaporation from plastics during the hot season and the subsequent deposition on the pre-existing particles. Generally, all the identified compounds showed higher concentrations in nighttime than in daytime due to inversion layers and increased emissions from heavy-duty trucks at night. PAHs, hopanes and phthalates in Nanjing aerosols are 5–100 times more abundant than those in Los Angeles, USA, indicating a serious air pollution problem in the city. Concentrations of OH-PAHs are 1–3 orders of magnitude less than their parent PAHs and comparable to those reported from other international cities. Source identification using diagnostic ratios of the organic tracers suggests that PAHs in Nanjing urban area are mainly derived from coal burning, whereas hopanes are more attributable to traffic emissions.
Keywords: Organic aerosols; Hopanes; Phthalates; Hydroxylated PAHs; Source reconciliation;

The air pollution caused by the burning of fireworks during the lantern festival in Beijing by Ying Wang; Guoshun Zhuang; Chang Xu; Zhisheng An (417-431).
The effects of the burning of fireworks on air quality in Beijing was firstly assessed from the ambient concentrations of various air pollutants (SO2, NO2, PM2.5, PM10 and chemical components in the particles) during the lantern festival in 2006. Eighteen ions, 20 elements, and black carbon were measured in PM2.5 and PM10, and the levels of organic carbon could be well estimated from the concentrations of dicarboxylic acids. Primary components of Ba, K, Sr, Cl, Pb, Mg and secondary components of C5H6O4 2−, C3H2O4 2−, C2O4 2−, C4H4O4 2−, SO4 2−, NO3 were over five times higher in the lantern days than in the normal days. The firework particles were acidic and of inorganic matter mostly with less amounts of secondary components. Primary aerosols from the burning of fireworks were mainly in the fine mode, while secondary formation of acidic anions mainly took place on the coarse particles. Nitrate was mainly formed through homogeneous gas-phase reactions of NO2, while sulfate was largely from heterogeneous catalytic transformations of SO2. Fe could catalyze the formation of nitrate through the reaction of α-Fe2O3 with HNO3, while in the formation of sulfate, Fe is not only the catalyst, but also the oxidant. A simple method using the concentration of potassium and a modified method using the ratio of Mg/Al have been developed to quantify the source contribution of fireworks. It was found that over 90% of the total mineral aerosol and 98% of Pb, 43% of total carbon, 28% of Zn, 8% of NO3 , and 3% of SO4 2− in PM2.5 were from the emissions of fireworks on the lantern night.
Keywords: Air pollution; Firework; Festival; Metals; Ions; Organics;

Rapid urbanization and industrialization in South China has placed great strain on the environment and on human health. In the present study, the total suspended particulate matter (TSP) in the urban and suburban areas of Hong Kong and Guangzhou, the two largest urban centres in South China, was sampled from December 2003 to January 2005. The samples were analysed for the concentrations of major elements (Al, Fe, Mg and Mn) and trace metals (Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, V and Zn), and for Pb isotopic composition. Elevated concentrations of metals, especially Cd, Pb, V and Zn, were observed in the urban and suburban areas of Guangzhou, showing significant atmospheric trace element pollution. Distinct seasonal patterns were observed in the heavy metal concentrations of aerosols in Hong Kong, with higher metal concentrations during the winter monsoon period, and lower concentrations during summertime. The seasonal variations in the metal concentrations of the aerosols in Guangzhou were less distinct, suggesting the dominance of local sources of pollution around the city. The Pb isotopic composition in the aerosols of Hong Kong had higher 206Pb/207Pb and 208Pb/207Pb ratios in winter, showing the influence of Pb from the northern inland areas of China and the Pearl River Delta (PRD) region, and lower 206Pb/207Pb and 208Pb/207Pb ratios in summer, indicating the influence of Pb from the South Asian region and from marine sources. The back trajectory analysis showed that the enrichment of heavy metals in Hong Kong and Guangzhou was closely associated with the air mass from the north and northeast that originated from northern China, reflecting the long-range transport of heavy metal contaminants from the northern inland areas of China to the South China coast.
Keywords: Aerosols; Heavy metals; Pb isotopes; Trajectories; South China;