Satellite and ground observations for large-scale air pollution transport in the Yellow Sea region

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Abstract

Large-scale air pollution transport (LSAPT) in the Yellow Sea region and their inflow onto the Korean Peninsula were observed through satellite images and ground measurements. LSAPT includes regional continental air-masses saturated with pollutants originating from China and subsequently landing on or passing through the Korean Peninsula. It is also possible to identify the distribution and transport patterns of LSAPT over the Yellow Sea. The ground concentrations for PM10, PM2.5 and CO measured at Cheongwon, located in the centre of south Korea, were compared with NOAA satellite images. Notably, the episodes observed of the LSAPT show a PM2.5 to PM10 ratio of 74% of the daily maximum concentrations. However, cases of duststorms were clearly distinguished by much higher PM10 concentrations and a ratio of 30% of PM2.5 to PM10 for daily maximum concentrations. For the episode on January 27, 2006, the inflow of a regionally polluted continental air-mass into the central and southwestern regions of the Korean Peninsula was observed sequentially at various ground observatories as well as by satellite. The north airflow dissipated the clouds over Mt. Halla on Jeju Island and further downwind, reducing air pollution and creating a von Kármán vortex.

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