Chinese Geographical Science ›› 2019, Vol. 20 ›› Issue (3): 382-393.doi: 10.1007/s11769-019-1036-0

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Spatial-temporal Analysis of Daily Air Quality Index in the Yangtze River Delta Region of China During 2014 and 2016

YE Lei1, OU Xiangjun2   

  1. 1. School of Geographic Science, Nantong University, Nantong 226000, China;
    2. School of Geography, Geomatics and Planning, Jiangsu Normal University, Nanjing 221116, China
  • Received:2018-01-05 Online:2019-06-27 Published:2019-05-06
  • Contact: OU Xiangjun.
  • Supported by:

    Under the auspices of Key Projects of the National Social Science Fund (No. 16AJL015), Youth Project of Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province (No. BK20170440), Open Foundation of Key Laboratory of Watershed Geographical Science (No.WSGS2017004), Project of Nantong Key Laboratory (No. CP12016005)


Urban air pollution is a prominent problem related to the urban development in China, especially in the densely populated urban agglomerations. Therefore, scientific examination of regional variation of air quality and its dominant factors is of great importance to regional environmental management. In contrast to traditional air pollution researches which only concentrate on a single year or a single pollutant, this paper analyses spatiotemporal patterns and determinants of air quality in disparate regions based on the air quality index (AQI) of the Yangtze River Delta region (YRD) of China from 2014 to 2016. Results show that the annual average value of the AQI in the YRD region decreases from 2014 to 2016 and exhibit a basic characteristic of ‘higher in winter, lower in summer and slightly high in spring and autumn’. The attainment rate of the AQI shows an apparently spatial stratified heterogeneity, Hefei metropolitan area and Nanjing metropolitan area keeping the worst air quality. The frequency of air pollution occurring in large regions was gradually decreasing during the study period. Drawing from entropy method analysis, industrialization and urbanization represented by per capita GDP and total energy consumption were the most important factors. Furthermore, population agglomeration is a factor that cannot be ignored especially in some mega-cities. Limited to data collection, more research is needed to gain insight into the spatiotemporal pattern and influence mechanism in the future.

Key words: air quality index (AQI), spatial-temporal evolution, contributing factors, Yangtze River Delta (YRD)