Ambient sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and ammonia at ten background and rural sites in China during 2007-2008

Zhao Yang Meng, Xiao Bin Xu, Tao Wang, Xing Ying Zhang, Xiao Lan Yu, Shu Feng Wang, Wei Li Lin, Yi Zhen Chen, Yi An Jiang, Xing Qin An

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

103 Citations (Scopus)


We present two years (January 2007-December 2008) of atmospheric SO2, NO2and NH3measurements from ten background or rural sites in nine provinces in China. The measurements were made on a monthly basis using passive samplers under careful quality control. The results show large geographical and seasonal variations in the concentrations of these gases. The mean SO2concentration varied from 0.7±0.4ppb at Waliguan on Qinghai Plateau to 67.3±31.1ppb at Kaili in Guizhou province. The mean NO2concentration ranged from 0.6±0.4ppb at Waliguan to 23.9±6.9ppb at Houma in southern Shanxi. The mean NH3concentration ranged from 2.8±3.0ppb at Shangdianzi in northeastern Beijing to 13.7±8.4ppb at Houma. At most sites, SO2and NO2peaked in winter and reached minima in summer, while NH3showed maximum values in summer and lower values in cold seasons. On the whole, the geographical distributions of the observed gas concentrations are consistent with those of emissions. The ground measurements of SO2and NO2are contrasted to the SCIAMACHY SO2and OMI NO2tropospheric columns, respectively. Although the satellite data can capture the main features of emissions and concentrations of SO2, they do not reflect the variations of SO2in the surface layer. The situation is better for the case of NO2. The OMI NO2columns capture the geographical differences in the ground NO2and correlate fairly well with the ground levels of NO2at six of the ten sites.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2625-2631
Number of pages7
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Issue number21-22
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2010


  • Ammonia
  • Background and rural sites
  • Nitrogen dioxide
  • Passive sampling
  • Sulfur dioxide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • Atmospheric Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Ambient sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and ammonia at ten background and rural sites in China during 2007-2008'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this