Chemical characteristics of size-resolved aerosols from Asian dust and haze episode in Seoul Metropolitan City

Eunha Kang, Jihyun Han, Meehye Lee, Gangwoong Lee, Jong Chun Kim

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35 Citations (Scopus)


We collected aerosol particles in Seoul using a 10 stage Micro-Orifice Uniform Deposit Impactor (MOUDI) to investigate the size distributions of aerosol mass and water-soluble inorganic ions (Na+, NH4+, K+, Mg2+, Ca2+, Cl-, NO3-, and SO42-) for the two high-mass episodes taking place in February and April, 2009. The former was a heavy Asian dust (AD) event and the latter was a haze episode associated with stagnant condition that prevailed over the Yellow Sea region. In AD plume, the mass peak was noticeable at coarse mode between 1.0 and 1.8μm but SO42- and NH4+ were enriched in condensation mode between 0.056 and 0.1μm. There was little chance for the heavy AD plume to pick up SO2 and water vapor, which are in good accordance with its transport paths and the chemical characteristics of aerosols and gaseous species. These results imply that the heterogeneous reaction of SO2 on dust particles would not be substantial in determining sulfate concentrations for this particular type of dust plume, considering the possibility of loss of large soil particles in MOUDI. During the haze episode, both total aerosol mass and water-soluble inorganic ions showed bimodal size distributions with the droplet (0.32-0.56μm) and coarse (1.0-1.8μm) mode peaks. In this haze event, acidic gases tend to be dissolved more efficiently in larger particles, shifting the peaks of SO42- and NO3- to larger droplet particles. For NH4+, however, the mode change was not observed, which was probably due to the depleted source and high solubility of NH3. These results demonstrated that the availability of precursor gases such as SO2, NO2, and NH3, and the water-vapor contents were important factor to determine the formation of droplet-mode particles and their sizes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-46
Number of pages13
JournalAtmospheric Research
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Jun

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology ( 2010-0028062 ) and the Korea Meteorological Administration Research and Development Program under grant CATER 2012-7102 . E. Kang would like to give special thank to NRF for the research grant NRF-2011-C00174 .


  • Asian dust
  • Haze
  • Size-resolved aerosol
  • Water-soluble inorganic ions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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