The Korea-United States air quality (KORUS-AQ) field study

James H. Crawford, Joon Young Ahn, Jassim Al-Saadi, Limseok Chang, Louisa K. Emmons, Jhoon Kim, Gangwoong Lee, Jeong Hoo Park, Rokjin J. Park, Jung Hun Woo, Chang Keun Song, Ji Hyung Hong, You Deog Hong, Barry L. Lefer, Meehye Lee, Taehyoung Lee, Saewung Kim, Kyung Eun Min, Seong Soo Yum, Hye Jung ShinYoung Woo Kim, Jin Soo Choi, Jin Soo Park, James J. Szykman, Russell W. Long, Carolyn E. Jordan, Isobel J. Simpson, Alan Fried, Jack E. Dibb, Seog Yeon Cho, Yong Pyo Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Citations (Scopus)


The Korea-United States Air Quality (KORUS-AQ) field study was conducted during May-June 2016. The effort was jointly sponsored by the National Institute of Environmental Research of South Korea and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration of the United States. KORUS-AQ offered an unprecedented, multi-perspective view of air quality conditions in South Korea by employing observations from three aircraft, an extensive ground-based network, and three ships along with an array of air quality forecast models. Information gathered during the study is contributing to an improved understanding of the factors controlling air quality in South Korea. The study also provided a valuable test bed for future air quality-observing strategies involving geostationary satellite instruments being launched by both countries to examine air quality throughout the day over Asia and North America. This article presents details on the KORUS-AQ observational assets, study execution, data products, and air quality conditions observed during the study. High-level findings from companion papers in this special issue are also summarized and discussed in relation to the factors controlling fine particle and ozone pollution, current emissions and source apportionment, and expectations for the role of satellite observations in the future. Resulting policy recommendations and advice regarding plans going forward are summarized. These results provide an important update to early feedback previously provided in a Rapid Science Synthesis Report produced for South Korean policy makers in 2017 and form the basis for the Final Science Synthesis Report delivered in 2020.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021 May 12

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s). This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See


  • Air quality
  • Ozone
  • PM2.5
  • Seoul
  • Transboundary pollution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Ecology
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Geology
  • Atmospheric Science


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