06 Sep 2023
 | 06 Sep 2023
Status: this preprint is open for discussion and under review for Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Physicochemical and Temporal Characteristics of Individual Atmospheric Aerosol Particles in Urban Seoul during KORUS-AQ Campaign: Insights from Single-Particle Analysis

Hanjin Yoo, Li Wu, Hong Geng, and Chul-Un Ro

Abstract. Single-particle analysis was conducted to characterize atmospheric aerosol particles collected at Olympic Park in Seoul, Korea as a part of the KORUS-AQ campaign which was carried out during May–June 2016. The KORUS-AQ campaign aimed to understand the temporal and spatial characteristics of atmospheric pollution on the Korean Peninsula through an international cooperative field study. A total of 8004 individual particles from 52 samples collected between 5/23–6/5, 2016, were investigated using a quantitative electron probe X-ray microanalysis (low-Z particle EPMA), resulting in the identification of seven major particle types. These included genuine and reacted mineral dust, sea-spray aerosols, secondary aerosol particles, heavy metal-containing particles, combustion particles, Fe-rich particles, and others (biogenic and humic-like substances (HULIS) particles). Distinctly different relative abundances of individual particle types were observed during five characteristic atmospheric situations, namely (a) a mild haze event influenced by local emissions and air mass stagnation, (b) a typical haze event affected by northwestern air masses with a high proportion of sulfate-containing particles, (c) a haze event with a combined influence of northwestern air masses and local emissions, (d) a clean period with low particulate matter concentrations and a blocking pattern, and (e) an event with an enhanced level of heavy metal-containing particles, with Zn, Mn, Ba, Cu, and Pb being the major species identified. Zn-containing particles were mostly released from local sources such as vehicle exhausts and waste incinerations, while Mn, Ba, and Cu-containing particles were attributed to metal-alloy plants or mining. The results suggest that the morphology and chemical compositions of atmospheric aerosol particles in urban area vary depending on their size, sources, and reaction or ageing status, and are affected by both local emissions and long-range air masses.

Hanjin Yoo et al.

Status: open (until 18 Oct 2023)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-1787', Anonymous Referee #1, 15 Sep 2023 reply
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Chul-Un Ro, 15 Sep 2023 reply
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-1787', Anonymous Referee #2, 28 Sep 2023 reply
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Chul-Un Ro, 03 Oct 2023 reply

Hanjin Yoo et al.


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Short summary
We conducted an investigation of atmospheric aerosols collected in Seoul, Korea, during the KORUS-AQ campaign, on a single-particle basis. We were able to identify their sources, atmospheric fate, and the impacts of local emissions and long-range transport on aerosol composition. Additionally, we traced potential sources of non-exhaust heavy metal particles. This comprehensive analysis provides valuable insights into the complex dynamics of urban aerosols.