Trans-boundary air pollution in a city under various atmospheric conditions

Ming Luo, Xiangting Hou, Yefu Gu, Ngar Cheung Lau, Steve Hung Lam Yim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Trans-boundary air pollution (TAP) is a crucial factor affecting air quality, and its contribution may vary over time and differ under various atmospheric conditions. This study firstly applies an integrated statistical scheme to estimate the contributions of TAP and local sources to air pollutants in a city, and then investigate the influences of tropical cyclones (TC) on TAP. Hong Kong is chosen as an example because of its significant and special TAP characteristics. This study focuses on four major air pollutants, namely, respirable and fine suspended particulates (RSP/PM10 and FSP/PM2.5), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and nitrogen dioxide (NO2), from 2002 to 2013. Our results show that, on average, TAP is the major contributor of the annual RSP, FSP, SO2, and NO2 in Hong Kong. We estimate that when a TC is approaching, the increase in pollutant concentration in Hong Kong is mainly due to the increase in TAP contribution by the strengthened northerly wind at higher level of atmosphere (≥ 900 hPa). These changes are accompanied by decreases in precipitation and increases in northerly/north-easterly wind, which may prolong the lifetime of pollutants, enhancing pollutant transport from mainland China to Hong Kong.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)132-141
Number of pages10
JournalScience of the Total Environment
StatePublished - Mar 15 2018
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pollution
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry


  • Air pollution
  • Non-negative matrix factorization
  • Trans-boundary contribution
  • Tropical cyclones


Dive into the research topics of 'Trans-boundary air pollution in a city under various atmospheric conditions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this