Comparison of hourly PM2.5 observations between urban and suburban areas in Beijing, China

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Hourly PM2.5 observations collected at 12 stations over a 1-year period are used to identify variations between urban and suburban areas in Beijing. The data demonstrates a unique monthly variation form, as compared with other major cities. Urban areas suffer higher PM2.5 concentration (about 92 μg/m3) than suburban areas (about 77 μg/m3), and the average PM2.5 concentration in cold season (about 105 μg/m3) is higher than warm season (about 78 μg/m3). Hourly PM2.5 observations exhibit distinct seasonal, diurnal and day-of-week variations. The diurnal variation of PM2.5 is observed with higher concentration at night and lower value at daytime, and the cumulative growth of nighttime (22:00 p.m. in winter) PM2.5 concentration maybe due to the atmospheric stability. Moreover, annual average PM2.5 concentrations are about 18 μg/m3 higher on weekends than weekdays, consistent with driving restrictions on weekdays. Additionally, the nighttime peak in weekdays (21:00 p.m.) is one hour later than weekends (20:00 p.m.) which also shows the evidence of human activity. These observed facts indicate that the variations of PM2.5 concentration between urban and suburban areas in Beijing are influenced by complex meteorological factors and human activities.




Yao, L., Lu, N., Yue, X., Du, J., & Yang, C. (2015). Comparison of hourly PM2.5 observations between urban and suburban areas in Beijing, China. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 12(10), 12264–12276.

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