Characteristics of Chinese aerosols determined by individual-particle analysis

Yuan Gao, James R. Anderson

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99 Scopus citations


Tropospheric aerosols that originate in China and are transported over the North Pacific Ocean have potentially significant impacts on regional and global climate. These aerosols are complex mixtures of soil dust and anthropogenic particles from a variety of sources, including fossil fuel combustion, biomass burning, mining, smelting, and other industrial processes, plus reaction products of heterogeneous processes that affect these particles during transport. In the coastal marine atmosphere, these particles could be further mixed with marine aerosols. To provide examples of the diversity of chemical and physical properties of east Asian aerosols in the spring, individual aerosol particle samples were collected in April and May 1999 in three different environments in China: Qingdao on the coast of the East China Sea, Beijing in the northeast interior, and Mount Waliguan in remote northwestern China. Results reveal that aerosols in this region are complex and heterogeneous. In addition to significant differences in aerosol composition and size distributions among the samples, each sample contains a large number of polyphase aggregates. Many of the particles also have irregular shapes; for a number of the particle types, the irregular shapes should persist even at high ambient RH. Because composition, degree and nature of polyphase aggregation, and shape all effect aerosol radiative properties, the complex state of east Asian aerosols presents a challenge for the modeling of aerosol radiative forcing in the region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2000JD900725
Pages (from-to)18037-18045
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres
Issue numberD16
StatePublished - Aug 27 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Oceanography
  • Forestry
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Palaeontology


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