Characterization of precipitation in the background of atmospheric pollutants reduction in Guilin: Temporal variation and source apportionment

Wenxing Wang , Ling Li , Hong Li , Liang Peng , Yongshan Li , Yi Zhou , Fahe Chai , Zhaoyu Mo , Zhiming Chen , Jingying Mao


Received September 24, 2019,Revised , Accepted March 05, 2020, Available online June 09, 2020

Volume 32,2020,Pages 1-13

Rainfall samples were collected from three observation sites in Guilin from 2013 to 2017, and the chemical composition characteristics of precipitation and the contribution made by different ion sources were analyzed when atmospheric pollutants levels were reduced. The results showed that acid gas emissions and atmospheric pollutant concentrations continued to decline during the study period. However, the change in the volume-weighted mean pH at the three sites suggested that acid rain pollution was not alleviated and began to deteriorate after 2015. The continuing downward trend for alkaline neutralizing ions (Ca2+, NH4+) in precipitation indicated that the reduction in alkaline neutralizing substances in the atmosphere was an important factor that led to the deterioration in acid rain across Guilin. The principal component analysis and spearman correlation analysis indicated five sources of ions in precipitation. Quantitative assessment of these five sources indicated that fossil fuel combustion contributed the most ions concentration in precipitation at the three sites, followed by agriculture, terrestrial (crustal) sources, marine sources, and biomass burning. Long-distance airflow might affect the acidity, the electrical conductivity (EC), and ion concentrations in precipitation across Guilin. The airflow trajectory from the west and southeast directions corresponded to higher acidity and ion concentrations. According to the current air pollution control strategy planned by Guilin, reducing atmospheric coarse particles and NH3 at the same time may potentially lead to further deteriorations in acid rain contents. Therefore, Guilin needs to develop more reasonable pollution prevention measures that synergistically control atmospheric pollutants and acid rain pollution.

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