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Yiwen Xu, Bin Zhu, Shuangshuang Shi, and Yong Huang


An integrated winter field campaign was conducted to investigate the atmospheric boundary layer structure and PM2.5 concentration at three sites over the Yangtze River delta (YRD) in China: Shouxian (a rural area), a site in a northern suburb of Nanjing, and Dongshan (a residential area). Two temperature inversion layers and air pollution events occurred simultaneously from 30 to 31 December 2016, local time, over the YRD. It was found that the two inversion layers were related to the presence of a high pressure system, resulting in divergence in the upper boundary layer and radiative cooling near the ground at night. Dominated by agricultural and residential biomass burning, the surface emission sources from the Shouxian rural area were moderately strong. After the formation of the two inversions, the vertical distribution of PM2.5 concentration below the upper inversion layer was uniform as a result of thorough boundary layer mixing in the earlier hours. During nighttime at the Nanjing site, air pollutant plumes from nearby elevated point sources could not easily diffuse downward/upward between the two inversion layers, which led to a distinct peak in the PM2.5 concentration. At the Dongshan site, the emission sources were weak and the nighttime PM2.5 concentration above 100 m was high. The surface PM2.5 concentration gradually increased from early morning to noon, which was attributed to emissions related to the local residents. The results indicated that the vertical distribution of pollutants was affected by a combination of local emissions, vertical boundary layer structure, and horizontal and vertical transports.

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