An air pollution episode and its formation mechanism during the tropical cyclone Nuri's landfall in a coastal city of south China

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

21 Scopus Citations
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Author(s)

  • John Xun Yang
  • Alexis Kai Hon Lau
  • Jimmy Chi Hung Fung
  • Wen Zhou
  • Mark Wenig

Related Research Unit(s)

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)746-753
Journal / PublicationAtmospheric Environment
Volume54
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012

Abstract

In this work we investigated an air pollution episode during the landfall process of a tropical cyclone (TC) in Hong Kong. TCs affect air condition and account for most air pollution episodes in summer of this region. In August 2008, TC Nuri made direct landfall in Hong Kong. Before its landfall, an air pollution episode occurred, where major pollutants like SO2 and PM10 increased eight and six times higher respectively. Rather than using single measurement method, we combined ground air sampling, lidar, sunphotometer and satellite lidar CALIPSO with focus on aerosol to study the episode mechanism, and some new phenomena were found. During the episode, it was found that heavy inland aerosol plumes existed in areas larger than urbanized regions and were elevated vertically and transported southward. During episode, planetary boundary layer (PBL) expansion and height increase were observed, which is different from previous reported PBL compression and height decrease. While vertical subsidence and horizontal stagnation and consequently local aerosol accumulation were attributed as the main episode cause in previous cases, our observation showed that transported aerosols dominated in this TC landfall event. This can be further confirmed by examining aerosol chemical composition, size distribution and single scattering albedo, where transported related species showed significantly change and local indicators remained relatively stable. Invigorated cloud droplets were found on the boundary layer top upon aerosol elevation. The results indicate that site difference and TC tracks should be considered for analyzing episode formation mechanism. They can cause difference in the strength of vertical subsidence and horizontal advection and affect pollution flow direction, which subsequently results in different pollution formation processes.

Research Area(s)

  • Aerosol, Air pollution, Remote sensing, Tropical cyclone

Citation Format(s)

An air pollution episode and its formation mechanism during the tropical cyclone Nuri's landfall in a coastal city of south China. / Yang, John Xun; Lau, Alexis Kai Hon; Fung, Jimmy Chi Hung; Zhou, Wen; Wenig, Mark.

In: Atmospheric Environment, Vol. 54, 07.2012, p. 746-753.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review