Vertical distributions of tropospheric SO2 based on MAX-DOAS observations: Investigating the impacts of regional transport at different heights in the boundary layer

Jianguo Liu , Qianqian Hong , Cheng Liu , Qihou Hu , Chengzhi Xing , Wei Tan , Ting Liu


Received May 26, 2020,Revised , Accepted September 26, 2020, Available online November 06, 2020

Volume 33,2021,Pages 119-134

Information on the vertical distribution of air pollutants is essential for understanding their spatiotemporal evolution underlying urban atmospheric environment. This paper presents the SO2 profiles based on ground-based Multi-Axis Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy (MAX-DOAS) measurements from March 2018 to February 2019 in Hefei, East China. SO2 decrease rapidly with increasing heights in the warm season, while lifted layers were observed in the cold season, indicating accumulation or long-range transport of SO2 in different seasons might occur at different heights. The diurnal variations of SO2 were roughly consistent for all four seasons, exhibiting the minimum at noon and higher values in the morning and late afternoon. Lifted layers of SO2 were observed in the morning for fall and winter, implying the accumulation or transport of SO2 in the morning mainly occurred at the top of the boundary layer. The bivariate polar plots showed that weighted SO2 concentrations in the lower altitude were weakly dependent on wind, but in the middle and upper altitudes, higher weighted SO2 concentrations were observed under conditions of middle-high wind speed. Concentration weighted trajectory (CWT) analysis suggested that potential sources of SO2 in spring and summer were local and transported mainly occurred in the lower altitude from southern and eastern areas; while in fall and winter, SO2 concentrations were deeply affected by long-range transport from northwestern and northern polluted regions in the middle and upper altitudes. Our findings provide new insight into the impacts of regional transport at different heights in the boundary layer on SO2 pollution.

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