Chemical Composition and Sources of Rainwater Collected at a Semi-Rural Site in Ya’an, Southwestern China


Rain and snow water samples were collected from Sep. 2010 to Jun. 2011 at a semi-rural site in Ya’an, a city located in the rain-belt along the Tibetan Plateau, to characterize the chemical composition and the sources of precipitation. The collected samples were severely acidified with an annual volume-weighted mean (VWM) pH of 4.03 and an annual acid rain frequency of 79%. SO42- and NH4+ were the most abundant ions, followed by Ca2+, H+, NO3-, Cl-, K+, Na+, F- and Mg2+. The acidity of samples was predominantly generated by H2SO4 and HNO3, which were neutralized by NH4+ and Ca2+ as much as 65%. NH3 played a major role in neutralizing the acid rain. The average ambient concentration of NH3 was 174.2 μg/m3 during sampling periods. Different source apportionment methods, including principle component analysis (PCA), enrichment factor (EF), correlation and back-trajectory analysis were used to track the sources of rainwater. The methods suggested that the pollutants in rainwater were from both local and long-distance transport (1:2.2), or they were from anthropogenic actions (86.4%), sea salts (8.1%) and crustal (5.5%) respectively.

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M. Zhao, L. Li, Z. Liu, B. Chen, J. Huang, J. Cai and S. Deng, "Chemical Composition and Sources of Rainwater Collected at a Semi-Rural Site in Ya’an, Southwestern China," Atmospheric and Climate Sciences, Vol. 3 No. 4, 2013, pp. 486-496. doi: 10.4236/acs.2013.34051.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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