Causes of a continuous summertime O3 pollution event in Jinan, a central city in the North China Plain
In the summer of 2017, measurements of ozone (O3) and its precursors were carried out at an urban site in Jinan, a central city in the North China Plain (NCP). A continuous O3 pollution event was captured during 4–11 August, with the maximum hourly O3 mixing ratio reaching 154.1 ppbv. Model simulation indicated that local photochemical formation and regional transport contributed 14.0±2.3 and 18.7±4.0 ppbv h−1, respectively, to the increase in O3 during 09:00–15:00 LT (local time) in this event. For local O3 formation, the calculated OH reactivities of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and carbon monoxide (CO) were comparable between O3 episodes and non-episodes (p>0.05), so was the OH reactivity of nitrogen oxides (NOx). However, the ratio of OH reactivity of VOCs and CO to that of NOx increased from 2.0±0.4 s−1 s1 during non-episodes to 3.7±0.7 s−1 s1 during O3 episodes, which resulted in the change in the O3 formation mechanism from the VOC-limited regime before the O3 pollution event to the transitional regime during the event. Correspondingly, the simulated local O3 production rate during the event (maximum: 21.3 ppbv h−1) was markedly higher than that before the event (p<0.05) (maximum: 16.9 ppbv h−1). Given that gasoline and diesel exhaust made large contributions to the abundance of O3 precursors and the O3 production rate, constraint on vehicular emissions is the most effective strategy to control O3 pollution in Jinan. The NCP has been confirmed as a source region of tropospheric O3, where the shift in regimes controlling O3 formation like the case presented in this study can be expected across the entire region, due to the substantial reductions of NOx emissions in recent years.