On the relationship between ozone and its precursors in the Pearl River Delta: Application of an observation-based model (OBM)

Hairong Cheng, Hai Guo, Xinming Wang, Sam M. Saunders, S. H.M. Lam, Fei Jiang, Tijian Wang, Aijun Ding, Shuncheng Lee, K. F. Ho

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

101 Citations (Scopus)


Background, aim, and scope: Photochemical smog, characterized by high concentrations of O3and fine particles, is of great concern in the urban areas, in particular megacities and city clusters like the Pearl River Delta. Materials, methods, and results: Ambient ozone (O3) and its precursors were simultaneously measured at two sites in the Pearl River Delta, namely, Wan Qing Sha (WQS) in Guangzhou and Tung Chung (TC) in Hong Kong, from 23 October to 01 December 2007 in order to explore their potential relationship. Eight high O3episode days were identified at WQS and two at TC during the sampling campaign, indicating a more serious O3pollution in Guangzhou than in Hong Kong. An observation-based model was employed to determine the ozone-precursor relationship. At both sites, O3production was found to be volatile organic compound (VOC)-limited, which is consistent with previous observations. Anthropogenic hydrocarbons played a key role in O3production, while reducing nitric oxide emissions aided the buildup of O3concentrations. Among VOC species, the summed relative incremental reactivity (RIR) of the top 12 compounds accounted for 89% and 85% of the total RIR at WQS and TC, respectively, indicating that local photochemical O3formation can be mainly attributed to a small number of VOC species. Discussion and conclusions: A large increment in both simulated HO2and O3concentrations was achieved with additional input of hourly carbonyl data. This suggested that apart from hydrocarbons, carbonyls might significantly contribute to the O3production in the Pearl River Delta.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)547-560
Number of pages14
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2010


  • Carbonyl
  • Observation-based model
  • Ozone
  • Ozone-precursor relationship
  • Pearl River Delta
  • Relative incremental reactivity (RIR)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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