Chinese Geographical Science ›› 2019, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (6): 917-933.doi: 10.1007/s11769-019-1081-8

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Spatiotemporal Variations and Regional Transport of Air Pollutants in Two Urban Agglomerations in Northeast China Plain

LI Xiaolan1, HU Xiaoming2,3, SHI Shuaiyi4,5, SHEN Lidu6, LUAN Lan7, MA Yanjun1   

  1. 1. Institute of Atmospheric Environment, China Meteorological Administration, Shenyang 110166, China;
    2. Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73072, USA;
    3. School of Meteorology, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73072, USA;
    4. State Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing Science, Aerospace Information Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100094, China;
    5. College of Resources and Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China;
    6. Shenyang Regional Climatic Center, Shenyang 110166, China;
    7. Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, Beijing 100081, China
  • Received:2018-11-01 Online:2019-12-27 Published:2019-11-12
  • Contact: MA Yanjun
  • Supported by:

    Under the auspices of National Key Research and Development Program of China (No. 2017YFC0212301, 2016YFC0203304), Basic Research Funds of Central Public Welfare Research Institutes (No. 2018SYIAEZD4), Program of Liaoning Meteorological Office (No. 201904, D201603), Key Program of National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41730647), Pro-gram of Laboratory of Atmospheric Chemistry, China Meteorological Administration (No. 2017B02), Key Program of Natural Science Foundation of Liaoning Province (No. 20170520359)


Characteristics of air pollution in Northeast China (NEC) received less research attention in the past comparing to other heavily polluted regions in China. Spatiotemporal variations of six criteria air pollutants (PM10, PM2.5, SO2, NO2, O3 and CO) in Central Liaoning Urban Agglomeration (CLUA) and Harbin-Changchun Urban Agglomeration (HCUA) in NEC Plain were analyzed in this study based on three-year hourly observations of air pollutants and meteorological variables from 2015 to 2017. The results indicated that the annual mean concentrations of air pollutants are generally higher in the middle and southern regions in NEC Plain and lower in the northern region. Megacities such as Shenyang, Harbin and Changchun experience severe air pollution, with a three-year averaged air quality index (AQI) larger than 80, far exceeding the daily AQI standard at the first-level of 50 in China. The annual mean PM and SO2 concentrations decrease most significantly in NEC urban agglomerations from 2015 to 2017, followed by CO and NO2, while O3 shows a slight increasing trend. All the six pollutants exhibit obvious seasonal and diurnal variations, and these variations are dictated by local emission and meteorological conditions. PM2.5 and O3 concentrations in NEC urban agglomerations strongly depend on wind conditions. High O3 concentrations at different cities usually occur in presence of strong winds but are independent on wind direction (WD), while high PM2.5 is usually accompanied by weak winds and poor dispersion condition, and sometimes also occur when the northerly or southerly winds are strong. Regional transport of air pollutants between NEC urban agglomerations is common. A severe haze event on November 1-4, 2017 is examined to demonstrate the role of regional transport on pollution.

Key words: criteria air pollutant, meteorological condition, regional transport, urban agglomeration of Northeast China