Seasonal variation of transport pathways and potential source areas at high inorganic nitrogen wet deposition sites in southern China

Xuemei Wang , Shuidi He , Minjuan Huang , Lianming Zheng , Ming Chang , Weihua Chen , Qianqian Xie , Maofa Ge , Yujing Mu , Jianmin Chen , Min Shao , Zifa Wang


Received April 21, 2021,Revised , Accepted December 25, 2021, Available online January 16, 2022

Volume 34,2022,Pages 444-453

This study attempts to identify the dominant transport pathways, potential source areas, and their seasonal variation at sites with high inorganic nitrogen (IN) wet deposition flux in southern China. This is a long-term study (2010–2017) based on continuous deposition measurements at the Guangzhou urban site (GZ) and the Dinghushan Natural Reserve site (DHS) located in the Pearl River Delta (PRD) region. A dataset on monthly IN concentration in precipitation and wet deposition flux were provided. The average annual fluxes measured at both sites (GZ: 33.04±9.52, DHS: 20.52±10.22 kg N/(ha∙year)) were higher, while the ratios of reduced to oxidized N (GZ: 1.19±0.77, DHS: 1.25±0.84) were lower compared with the national mean level and the previous reported level throughout the PRD region. The dominant pathways were not always consistent with the highest proportional trajectory clusters. The transport pathways contributing most of deposition were identified in the north and north-northeast in the dry season and in the east-southeast, east, and south-southwest in the wet season. A weighted potential source contribution function (WPSCF) value >0.3 was determined reasonably to define the potential source area. Emission within the PRD region contributed the majority (≥95% at both sites) of the IN deposition in the wet season, while the contribution outside the region increased significantly in the dry season (GZ: 27.86%, DHS: 95.26%). Our results could help create more effective policy to control precursor emissions for IN fluxes, enabling reduction of the ecological risks due to excessive nitrogen.

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