Flow patterns influencing the seasonal behavior of surface ozone and carbon monoxide at a coastal site near Hong Kong

Ka Se Lam, T. J. Wang, L. Y. Chan, Tao Wang, J. Harris

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Surface O3and CO were measured at Cape D'Aguilar, Hong Kong during the period of January 1994 to December1996 in order to understand the temporal variations of surface O3and CO in East Asia-West Pacific region. The isentropic backward trajectories were used to isolate different air masses reaching the site and to analyze the long-range transport and photochemical buildup of O3on a regional scale. The results show that the diurnal variation of surface O3was significant in all seasons with daily O3production being about 20ppbv in fall and 10ppbv in winter, indicating more active photochemical processes in the subtropical region. The distinct seasonal cycles of O3and CO were found with a summer minimum (16ppbv)-fall maximum (41ppbv) for O3and a summer minimum (116ppbv)-winter maximum (489ppbv) for CO. The isentropic backward trajectory cluster analyses suggest that the air masses (associated with regional characteristics) to the site can be categorized into five groups, which are governed by the movement of synoptic weather systems under the influence of the Asian monsoon. For marine-originated air masses (M-SW, M-SE and M-E, standing for marine-southwest, marine-southeast and marine-east, respectively) which always appear in summer and spring, the surface O3and CO have relatively lower mixing ratios (18, 16 and 30ppbv for O3, 127, 134 and 213ppbv for CO), while the continental air masses (C-E and C-N, standing for continent-east and continent-north, respectively) usually arrive at the site in winter and fall seasons with higher O3(43 and 48ppbv) and CO (286 and 329ppbv). The 43ppbv O3and 286ppbv CO are representative of the regionally polluted continental outflow air mass due to the anthropogenic activity in East Asia, while 17ppbv O3and 131ppbv CO can be considered as the signature of the approximately clean marine background of South China Sea. The very high CO values (461-508ppbv) during winter indicate that the long-range transport of air pollutants from China continent is important at the monitoring site. The fall maximum (35-46ppbv) of surface O3was believed to be caused by the effects of the weak slowly moving high-pressure systems which underlie favorable photochemical production conditions and the long-range transport of aged air masses with higher O3and its precursors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3121-3135
Number of pages15
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 4 Aug 2001


  • Carbon monoxide
  • Ozone
  • Photochemistry
  • Trajectory
  • Transport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • Atmospheric Science


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