This study investigated isotopic signatures of carbon (C), lead (Pb) and strontium (Sr) in PM 2.5 samples collected from two paired sites (urban vs. rural/background) in northern Taiwan during the summer of 2015 and the spring of 2016, respectively. Significant seasonality was revealed in the isotopic signatures of C and Pb, whereas no seasonal difference was observed in 87 Sr/ 86 Sr ratio. The values of δ 13 C, 206 Pb/ 207 Pb, and 208 Pb/ 207 Pb were more diverse and exhibited local features in summer. However, during the episodes of continental pollution outbreaks in springtime, the δ 13 C and Pb isotope ratios of PM 2.5 shifted and converged consistently toward the documented characteristics of particulate matters in northern China. Moreover, the results showed that the differences in the Pb and Sr isotopic characteristics between the paired urban and rural sites were statistically insignificant, whereas marginally lower δ 13 C values were observed at the urban site. It was inferred accordingly that a substantial amount of gaseous hydrocarbons emitted in local urban areas could have been converted to secondary organic aerosols with lower δ 13 C. On the contrary, the consistency in the spatial and temporal variations of mass concentration and isotope ratios of Pb at the two sites suggested that East-Asian continental pollution outbreak was the major source of Pb-containing particles in the northern Taiwan during springtime. It is noteworthy that there was neither seasonal nor spatial differences in the 87 Sr/ 86 Sr ratio observed in this study, which suggested that the Sr-containing particles collected in this study could be originating from a common mixture of sources, including not only natural dust but also the anthropogenic emissions, coal-combustion for instance. This investigation upon the C-Pb-Sr isotopic features evidenced the substantial impacts of the continental pollution outbreaks on the aerosol composition and air quality in the downwind areas of the East-Asian winter monsoons.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Atmospheric Science