A study of surface ozone and the relation to complex wind flow in Hong Kong

Tao Wang, Y. Y. Wu, T. F. Cheung, Ka Se Lam

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Ozone measurements made from 5 sites in Hong Kong have been analyzed, including those from one upwind, one downwind, and three urban locales. The data are analyzed in terms of the seasonal and diurnal trends. A subset of data in autumn is further analyzed to study the relationship between the ozone spatial pattern and wind flow as well as other meteorological parameters. The results show that averaged ozone levels at most sites exhibit maxima in autumn, which appears to be a unique feature for eastern Asia. On average the daily maximum 1-h concentrations are found to be higher in the western (normally downwind) site than those on the eastern side and in urban areas. Examination of surface wind patterns and other meteorological parameters suggest that elevated ozone concentrations on the western side occur during the days with intense solar radiation, light winds, and in the presence of a unique wind circulation. The wind reversal in the western parts under the 'convergence' flow is believed to be an important cause of the high-ozone events observed there. Such wind flow may re-circulate/transport nearby urban plumes (in this case the Hong Kong-Shenzhen urban complex). Examination of chemical data from the western site has shown that averaged afternoon SO2to NOxratios on days with wind reversal are larger than those of typical urban Hong Kong and that a significant SO2enhancement was clearly indicated on several occasions. The SO2enhancement may be interpreted as being the evidence to suggest the contribution of regional sources and/or Hong Kong's power plants (both containing high SO2). A case study has shown that when moderately strong northwesterly wind prevails, elevated ozone and SO2can be transported to western Hong Kong from the inner Pearl Delta region. This study has also indicated that under the impact of ENE winds the eastern side of Hong Kong is not frequently affected by the re-circulating ozone plumes present in the western side.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3203-3215
Number of pages13
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 4 Aug 2001


  • Land/sea breezes
  • Ozone pollution
  • Pearl River Delta
  • Seasonal trend
  • Surface wind

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Atmospheric Science

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