She et al.: Hourly PM2.5 levels during heavy winter episodes in the Yangtze River Delta

In this publication, we quantitatively investigated the feasibility of using the aerosol optical depth (AOD) data retrieved by the Geostationary Ocean Color Imager (GOCI) to estimate hourly PM2.5 concentrations during winter haze episodes in the Yangtze River Delta (YRD). We developed a three-stage spatial statistical model, using GOCI AOD and fine mode fraction, as well as corresponding monitoring PM2.5 concentrations, meteorological and land use data on a 6-km modeling grid with complete coverage in time and space. The 10-fold cross-validation R2 was 0.72 with a regression slope of 1.01 between observed and predicted hourly PM2.5 concentrations. We further analyzed two representative large regional episodes, i.e., a “multi-process diffusion episode” during December 21–26, 2015 and a “Chinese New Year episode” during February 7–8, 2016. We concluded that AOD retrieved by geostationary satellites could serve as a new valuable data source for analyzing the heavy air pollution episodes.


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