Characterization of PM2.5 Mass in Relation to PM1.0 and PM10 in Megacity Seoul

Jihyun Han, Seahee Lim, Meehye Lee, Young Jae Lee, Gangwoong Lee, Changsub Shim, Lim Seok Chang

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This study examines the PM2.5 characteristics in Seoul in relation to those of PM1.0 and PM10. Samples were typically collected daily on filters and a few hours sampling were conducted during a few haze events (March 2007 to June 2008). Mean mass concentrations of PM1.0, PM2.5, and PM10 were 19.7 μg/m3, 26.0 μg/m3, and 48.2 μg/m3, respectively, and PM2.5 was reasonably correlated with PM1.0 (γ=0.79) and PM10 (γ=0.52). Three mass group types were mainly distinguished. Group 1 (31%): linear increase of PM1.0 with PM10 and high OC and NO3 -; Group 2 (17%): PM10 considerably higher than PM1.0 and high Ca2+ and SO4 2-; Group 3 (52%): PM1.0 relatively more enhanced than PM10 and highest carbonaceous fraction against mass. The fine mode fraction was lowest (highest) in Group 2 (Group 3). Haze and dust episodes relating to Chinese outflows were mostly evident in Groups 1 and 2, respectively; average PM2.5 concentrations were visibly higher than in Group 3. Non-Negative Matrix Factorization analysis demonstrated that traffic-related urban primary (28%) and coal-fired industry (27%) emissions equally contributed to the PM2.5 mass, followed by aged urban secondary (19%), soil mineral (16%), and biomass combustion (10%) sources. Seasonal variations were apparent in air mass trajectories. Urban primary and coal-fired industry factors were predominant in Group 3 under stagnant conditions in the warm season and under a strong northerly wind in the cold season, respectively. However, contributions of the other three factors were higher in Groups 1 and 2. This study shows that the PM2.5 mass in Seoul is largely dependent on high concentration episodes occurring mostly in cold seasons. It also shows that local emissions contribute considerably during warm months, while the influence of Chinese outflow predominates during cold months.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2021124
JournalAsian Journal of Atmospheric Environment
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Mar

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This paper is published with the support of the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) through a grant 2E31290-21-P009. J.H. is grateful for the support of Seoul Institute of Technology (SIT) (2021-AE-007, A basic study for the management of high ozone episodes by autonomous districts (Gu): Focused on the current status of air pollutants and health effects). A part of this study was done for the Ph.D. thesis of Jihyun Han. Specially, the authors would like to thank the National Institute of Environmental Research (NIER) for supporting the measurement.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022. by Asian Association for Atmospheric Environment This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons. org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


  • Non-negative matrix factorization
  • Pm
  • Pm
  • Pm
  • Seoul mega city

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Atmospheric Science


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