Articles | Volume 11, issue 13
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 11, 6297–6310, 2011

Special issue: Program of Regional Integrated Experiments on Air Quality...

Atmos. Chem. Phys., 11, 6297–6310, 2011

Research article 04 Jul 2011

Research article | 04 Jul 2011

Atmospheric boundary layer characteristics over the Pearl River Delta, China, during the summer of 2006: measurement and model results

S. J. Fan1, Q. Fan1, W. Yu1, X. Y. Luo1, B. M. Wang1, L. L. Song2, and K. L. Leong3 S. J. Fan et al.
  • 1Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Sun yat-sen University, Guangzhou, 510275, China
  • 2Climate Center of Guangdong Province, Guangzhou, 510080, China
  • 3Macao Meteorological and Geophysical Bureaus, Macao, China

Abstract. As part of the PRIDE-PRD2006 intensive campaign, atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) measurements were performed in Qingyuan, Panyu, and Xinken over the Pearl River Delta (PRD) on 1–30 July 2006. During the summer, the surface winds over the PRD are generally controlled by the south, usually with vertical wind shear at a height of approximately 800 m. Subsidence and precipitation from a tropical cyclone affects the air quality of the PRD. Under subsidence, wind speed in the ABL and the height of the ABL decrease and result in high-level concentrations. When the background wind speed is small or calm, the wind profile in Panyu and Xinken changes dramatically with height, which is perhaps caused by local circulation, such as sea-land breezes. To better understand the ABL of the PRD, simulations that used the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) mesoscale model were utilized to analyze the ABL characteristics over the PRD. Based on three types of weather condition simulations (i.e., subsidence days, rainy days, and sunny days), the WRF model revealed that the simulated temperature and wind fields in these three cases were moderately consistent with the measurements. The results showed that diurnal variations of the ABL height on subsidence days and sunny days were obvious, but diurnal variations of the ABL height on rainy days were not apparent. The ABL is obviously affected by local circulation, and the ABL features are different at various stations. A simulation focused on a high pollution episode during the subsidence days on 12–15 July 2006, occurred under high-pressure conditions, accompanied by the tropical cyclone "Bilis". A comparison of the simulated vertical wind fields and temperature structure with the ABL measurements at Xinken, Panyu, and Qingyuan stations found that the modeled and measured atmospheric fields revealed two different types of ABL characteristics over the PRD. When the surface winds over the PRD were light or nearly calm, the local circulation dominated, such as the sea-land breeze at Xinken station and the mountain-valley circulation at Qingyuan station. When the surface winds were strong, the stations were under the same background weather system, and the wind directions were almost the same. Furthermore, the modeled results also suggest that the subsidence by the typhoon "Bilis" had a great impact on the high Air Pollution Index (API).

Final-revised paper