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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(2), 1099-1111; doi:10.3390/ijerph120201099

Analysis of the Characteristics and Evolution Modes of PM2.5 Pollution Episodes in Beijing, China During 2013

State Key Laboratory of Resources and Environmental Information System, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 27 October 2014 / Accepted: 23 December 2014 / Published: 22 January 2015
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Abstract

Fine particulate matter (PM2.5) has been recognized as a serious hazard linked to deleterious health effects. In this study, all PM2.5 Pollution Episodes (PPEs) in Beijing during 2013 were investigated with hourly PM2.5 observations from the Olympic Sport Center site, and then their characteristics and evolution modes analysed. Results show that 80 PPEs, covering 209 days, occurred in Beijing during 2013. Average PM2.5 concentrations during PPEs were almost twice (1.86) the annual mean value, although the PPEs showed significant seasonal variations. The most hazardous PPEs tended to occur in winter, whereas PPEs with long duration occurred in autumn. The PPEs could be divided into six clusters based on their compositions of different pollution levels, which were strongly related to meteorological factors. We used series peaks of PM2.5 concentrations to analyse the evolution modes of PPEs and found that the more peaks there were within the evolution mode, the longer the duration, and the higher the average and maximum PM2.5 concentrations. Each peak within a PPE can be identified by “rise” and “fall” patterns. The “rise” patterns are widely related to relative humidity, whereas the “fall” patterns are affected principally by wind speed for one-peak PPEs and boundary layer height for multi-peak PPEs. The peak patterns cannot be explained fully by meteorological factors; however, they might also be closely related to complex and diversified human activities. View Full-Text
Keywords: PM2.5 concentration; PM2.5 pollution episodes; seasonal variations; peak patterns; air quality PM2.5 concentration; PM2.5 pollution episodes; seasonal variations; peak patterns; air quality
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Song, C.; Pei, T.; Yao, L. Analysis of the Characteristics and Evolution Modes of PM2.5 Pollution Episodes in Beijing, China During 2013. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 1099-1111.

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