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Application of air parcel residence time analysis for air pollution prevention and control policy in the Pearl River Delta region

Huang, Yeqi, Yao, Teng, Fung, Jimmy C.H., Lu, Xingcheng, Lau, Alexis K.H.
The Science of the total environment 2019 v.658 pp. 744-752
air, air pollution, factories, fate and transport models, issues and policy, monsoon season, pollutants, pollution control, river deltas, rivers, summer, urban areas, wind direction, winter
In this study, the concept of air parcel residence time was raised and the APRT was investigated to study its potential application in air pollution prevention and control in the Pearl River Delta (PRD) region. The APRT in the PRD region was defined as the total period for which an air parcel stays within the PRD region. The Hybrid Single-Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory (HYSPLIT) model was used to calculate the hourly APRT in 2012, 2014, and 2015 based on forward trajectories from 16,720 starting locations. The seasonal APRT results revealed that long APRT was mainly distributed in southern PRD in the summer half year, but in northeastern PRD in the winter half year. This is related to the prevailing wind directions in the summer and winter monsoons. Moreover, the comparison of APRT in different years revealed that the dispersion condition was relatively poor in fall in 2012 and throughout 2014 but was relatively favorable in 2015, which also corresponded to the pollutant concentrations. The APRT calculated from regional air pollution days indicated that the emission reduction strategy should be implemented in the key areas, namely the eastern and central Guangzhou, western Huizou, and the border between Foshan and Jiangmen, and the construction of new factories should not be allowed in these areas. Compared to the APRT, which was investigated to trace the air pollution source, population exposure to air parcels (PEAP) was investigated to orient the influence of path-and-time-weighted sources to population. Consequently, a high PEAP was found to be distributed mainly in the central Guangzhou and Shenzhen and scattered in other urban areas.