Temporal distribution, influencing factors and pollution sources of urban ambient air quality in Nanchong, China

Zhou, Hong;Li, Youping;Liu, Huifang;Fan, Zhongyu;Xia, Jie;Chen, Shanli;Zheng, Yuxiang;Chen, Xiaocui

  • Received : 2015.04.18
  • Accepted : 2015.08.05
  • Published : 2015.09.30


The $PM_{10}$, $SO_2$ and $NO_2$ mass concentrations were obtained over five years from monitoring stations across Nanchong, a southwest city in China. Changes in urban air quality over time, as well as the factors influencing that change, were evaluated based on air pollutant concentrations, the Air Pollution Index (API), and the Comprehensive Pollution Index (P). The results showed that the total annual mean $PM_{10}$, $SO_2$ and $NO_2$ concentrations over the five years studied were $61.1{\pm}1.1$, $45.0{\pm}3.9$ and $34.9{\pm}4.9{\mu}g{\cdot}m^{-3}$, respectively. The annual mean concentrations displayed a generally decreasing trend; lower than the annual mean second-level air quality limit. Meanwhile, the annual mean API values were in a small range of 52-53, the air quality levels were grade II, and P values were 1.06-1.21 less than the slight level ($P{\leq}1.31$). Total monthly mean $PM_{10}$, $SO_2$, $NO_2$ concentrations, and API and P values were consistently higher in winter and spring than during autumn and summer. The results of a correlation analysis showed that temperature and pressure were the major meteorological factors influencing pollution levels. Pollution sources included industrial coal and straw burning, automobiles exhaust and road dust, fireworks, and dust storms.


Air Pollution;Air Pollution Index;Comprehensive Pollution Index;Pollution Sources;Nanchong


  1. Gong P, Liang S, Carlton EJ, et al. Urbanization and health in China. Lancet. 2012;379:843-852.
  2. Nowak DJ, Hirabayashi S, Bodine A, Hoehn R. Modeled $PM_{2.5}$ removal by trees in ten U.S. cities and associated health effects. Environ. Pollut. 2013;178:395-402.
  3. Tao J, Zhang L, Engling G, et al. Chemical composition of $PM_{2.5}$ in an urban environment in Chengdu China: Importance of springtime dust storms and biomass burning. Atmos. Res. 2013;122:270-283.
  4. Wang Q, Cao J, Shen Z, et al. Chemical characteristics of $PM_{2.5}$ during dust storms and air pollution events in Chengdu China. Particuology 2013;11:70-77.
  5. Kyrkilis G, Chaloulakou A, Kassomenos PA. Development of an aggregate Air Quality Index for an urban Mediterranean agglomeration: relation to potential health effects. Environ. Int. 2007;33:670-676.
  6. Cairncross EK, John J, Zunckel M. A novel air pollution index based on the relative risk of daily mortality associated with short-term exposure to common air pollutants. Atmos. Environ. 2007;41:8442-8454.
  7. Zhou K, Ye YH, Liu Q, Liu A J, Peng SL. Evaluation of ambient air quality in Guangzhou China. J. Environ. Sci. 2007;19:432-437.
  8. Xiong GL, Chen J, Zeng GJ. The analysis of the variation trend of air quality in Daya Bay during 2006 to 2011. Guangdong Chemical Industry 2013;40:123-124.
  9. Li ST. The spatial and temporal distribution of air quality and its evaluation in Chengdu [dissertation]. Chengdu Univ. of Electronic Science and Technology of China; 2012.
  10. Zhang J, Ouyang Z, Miao H, Wang X. Ambient air quality trends and driving factor analysis in Beijing 1983-2007. J. Environ. Sci. 2011;23:2019-2028.
  11. Feng Q, Wu S, Du Y,et al. Variations of $PM_{10}$ concentrations in Wuhan China. Environ. Monit. Assess. 2011;176:259-271.
  12. Wan JM, Lin M, Chan CY, et al. Change of air quality and its impact on atmospheric visibility in central-western Pearl River Delta. Environ. Monit. Assess. 2011;172:339-351.
  13. Khanna N. Measuring environmental quality: an index of pollution. Ecolo. Econ. 2000;35:191-202.
  14. Pires JCM, Martins FG. Evaluation of Spatial Variability of $PM_{10}$ concentrations in London. Water Air Soil Pollut. 2011;223:2287-2296.
  15. Khamdan SA, Al Madany IM, Buhussain E. Temporal and spatial variations of the quality of ambient air in the Kingdom of Bahrain during 2007. Environ. Monit. Assess. 2009;154:241-252.
  16. Mandal P, Prakash M, Bassin JK. Impact of Diwali celebrations on urban air and noise quality in Delhi City India. Environ. Monit. Assess. 2012;184:209-215.
  17. Shen JF, Feng JJ, Xie CL. Analysis of the spatial and temporal variation characteristics of $PM_{10}$ in Guangzhou. Ecol. Environ. 2008;17:553-559.
  18. Li YP, Zhou H, Liu HF. Temporal variation of urban ambient air quality in Nanchong China. Advanced Materials Resear. 2014; 864-867:953-957.
  19. Choi W, Paulson SE, Casmassi J, Winer AM. Evaluating meteorological comparability in air quality studies: Classification and regression trees for primary pollutants in California's South Coast Air Basin. Atmos. Environ. 2013;64:150-159.
  20. Cheng FY, Chin SC, Liu TH. The role of boundary layer schemes in meteorological and air quality simulations of the Taiwan area. Atmos. Environ. 2012;54:714-727.
  21. Li W, Wang C, Wang H, et al. Distribution of atmospheric particulate matter (PM) in rural field rural village and urban areas of northern China. Environ. Pollut. 2014;185:134-140.
  22. Jeong JI. Park RJ. Effects of the meteorological variability on regional air quality in East Asia. Atmos. Environ. 2013;69:46-55.
  23. Fang M, Chan CK, Yao X. Managing air quality in a rapidly developing nation: China. Atmos. Environ. 2009;43:79-86.
  24. Zhang CF, Wen M, Zeng JR, Zhang GL, Fang HP, Li Y. Modeling the impact of the viaduct on particles dispersion from vehicle exhaust in street canyons. Sci. China. Technol. Sc. 2012;55:48-55.
  25. Nelson TP. An examination of historical air pollutant emissions from US petroleum refineries. Environ. Pro. Sustain. Ene. 2013;32:425-432.
  26. Badarinath KVS, Kumar KS, Rani SA. Long-range transport of aerosols from agriculture crop residue burning in Indo-Gangetic Plains: A study using LIDAR ground measurements and satellite data. J. Atmos. Sol-Terr. Ph. 2009;71:112-120.
  27. Ryu SY, Kwon BG, Kim YJ, Kim HH, Chun KJ. Characteristics of biomass burning aerosol and its impact on regional air quality in the summer of 2003 at Gwangju Korea. Atmos. Res. 2007;84:362-373.
  28. Li H, Li HY, Han ZW, et al. Agricultural fire impacts on the air quality of Shanghai during summer harvesttime. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 2010;10:95-101.
  29. Barman SC, Singh R, Negi MP, Bhargava SK. Ambient air quality of Lucknow City (India) during use of fireworks on Diwali Festival. Environ. Monit. Assess. 2008;137:495-504.
  30. Wang Y, Zhuang G, Xu C, An Z. The air pollution caused by the burning of fireworks during the lantern festival in Beijing. Atmos. Environ. 2007;41:417-431.
  31. Vecchi R, Bernardoni V, Cricchio D, et al. The impact of fireworks on airborne particles. Atmos. Environ. 2008;42:1121-1132.
  32. Chatterjee A. Ambient Air Quality during Diwali Festival over Kolkata - A Mega-City in India. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 2013;13:1133-1144.
  33. Han X, Ge C, Tao JH, Zhang MG, Zhang RJ. Air quality modeling for of a strong dust event in east asia in march 2010. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 2012;12:615-628.
  34. Wang SG, Wang JY, Zhou ZJ, Shang KZ. Yang DB, Zhao ZS. Regional characteristics of dust events in China. J. Geogr. Sci. 2003;13:35-44.
  35. Sun J, Zhang M, Liu T. Spatial and temporal characteristics of dust storms in China and its surrounding regions 1960-1999: Relations to source area and climate. J. Geophys. Res. 2001;106:10325-10333.
  36. Zhang R, Han Z, Cheng T, Tao J. Chemical properties and origin of dust aerosols in Beijing during springtime. Particuology 2009;7:61-67.
  37. Zhang ZS, Tao J, Xie SD, et al. Seasonal variations and source apportionment of $PM_{2.5}$ at urban area of Chengdu. Acta Scien. Circum. 2013;33:1-6.

Cited by

  1. Modelling CO2 and NOx on signalized roundabout using modified adaptive neural fuzzy inference system model vol.23, pp.1, 2017,
  2. Examining the Impacts of Urban Form on Air Pollution in Developing Countries: A Case Study of China’s Megacities vol.15, pp.8, 2018,


Supported by : Sichuan Provincial Education Department