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Impact of Chinese air pollutants on a record-breaking PMs episode in South Korea for 11–15 January 2019
Atmospheric Environment  (IF5.755),  Pub Date : 2020-02-01, DOI: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2020.117262
Hye-Ryun Oh, Chang-Hoi Ho, Youn-Seo Koo, Kwan-Gu Baek, Hui-Young Yun, Sun-Kyong Hur, Dae-Ryun Choi, Jong-Ghap Jhun, Jae-Seol Shim

Abstract A record-breaking episode of highly concentrated particulate matter (PM) with diameters ≤ 2.5 μm (PM2.5) and ≤10 μm (PM10) occurred in the Republic of Korea during the period January 11–15, 2019: the hourly PM2.5 (PM10) in Seoul was 188 μg m−3 (262 μg m−3) on January 14. At the Baengnyeong and Socheongcho stations, located in the Yellow Sea between China and Korea, the hourly PM2.5 concentration reached up to 155 μg m−3 and 119.8 μg m−3, respectively, 16−19-h prior to this episode. This and the fact that the maximum PM10 concentration at Baengnyeong was 199 μg m−3 indicated a westerly transport of air pollutants. Satellite observations and 72-h back trajectory analysis clearly indicate that air pollutants from China flowed into Korea via the westerlies. According to contribution analysis using particulate matter source apportionment technology in the Comprehensive Air-quality Model with extension, air pollutants originating from northeastern China including Hebei and Shandong provinces were largely linked to the present record-breaking high concentration event in Seoul. This study will elucidate the mechanism of transboundary transport of air pollutants and help East Asian countries cooperate on air quality management.