Fine particles (PM2.5) at a CAWNET background site in Central China: Chemical compositions, seasonal variations and regional pollution events

Fan Zhang, Hai rong Cheng, Zu wu Wang, Xiao pu Lv, Zhong min Zhu, Gan Zhang, Xin ming Wang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

84 Citations (Scopus)


Fine particle (PM2.5) samples were collected at Jinsha (JSH), a regional background China Atmosphere Watch Network (CAWNET) site in Central China from March 2012 to March 2013. The mass concentrations of water-soluble inorganic ions (WSIIs), organic carbon (OC) and elemental carbon (EC) in PM2.5 were measured. The average PM2.5 mass concentration was 48.7±26.9μgm-3, exceeding the Chinese National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) (35μgm-3), implying that PM2.5 is a pollutant of regional concern in Central China. The average concentrations of total WSIIs, OC and EC were 26.1±18.8, 7.5±3.5 and 0.7±0.5μgm-3, accounting for 53.5%, 15.1% and 1.5% of the PM2.5 concentrations at JSH, respectively. Clear seasonal variations in PM2.5 and the levels of its main chemical species were observed in the following order: winter>autumn>spring>summer. Backward air trajectory analysis and potential source contribution function (PSCF) analysis implied that the areas north and northeast of JSH contributed significantly to the levels of SO42-, NO3-, NH4+ and OC, while sandstorms originating from Mongolia and traveling across Northwest China may have contributed significantly to the levels of Na+, Ca2+, and Mg2+ in PM2.5 at JSH. Two pollution events, related to regional biomass burning and haze, respectively, were recorded at JSH during the sampling campaign.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-202
Number of pages10
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Back trajectory
  • Background
  • Long-range atmospheric transport
  • PM
  • Pollution events
  • Potential source contribution function (PSCF)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Atmospheric Science

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