Spatio-temporal characteristics of PM10 concentration across Malaysia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

62 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The recurrence of forest fires in Southeast Asia and associated biomass burning, has contributed markedly to the problem of trans-boundary haze and the long-range movement of pollutants in the region. Air pollutants, specifically particulate matter in the atmosphere, have received extensive attention, mainly because of their adverse effect on people's health. In this study, the spatial and temporal variability of the PM10 concentration across Malaysia was analyzed by means of the rotated principal component analysis. The results suggest that the variability of the PM10 concentration can be decomposed into four dominant modes, each characterizing different spatial and temporal variations. The first mode characterizes the southwest coastal region of the Malaysian Peninsular with the PM10 showing a peak concentration during the summer monsoon i.e. when the winds are predominantly southerlies or southwesterlies, and a minimal concentration during the winter monsoon. The second mode features the region of western Borneo with the PM10 exhibiting a concentration surge in August-September, which is likely to be the result of the northward shift of the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) and the subsequent rapid arrival of the rainy season. The third mode delineates the northern region of the Malaysian Peninsular with strong bimodality in the PM10 concentration. Seasonally, this component exhibits two concentration maxima during the late winter and summer monsoons, as well as two minima during the inter-monsoon periods. The fourth dominant mode characterizes the northern Borneo region which exhibits weaker seasonality of the PM10 concentration. Generally, the seasonal fluctuation of the PM10 concentration is largely associated with the seasonal variation of rainfall in the country. However, in addition to this, the PM10 concentration also fluctuates markedly in two timescale bands i.e. 10-20 days quasi-biweekly (QBW) and 30-60 days lower frequency (LF) band of the intra-seasonal timescales. These intra-seasonal fluctuations show strong seasonality with the largest fraction of variance occurring during the boreal summer and the weakest variance during the winter. Generally, the LF intra-seasonal oscillation is stronger compared to the QBW intra-seasonal band.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4584-4594
Number of pages11
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Volume43
Issue number30
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2009

Fingerprint

monsoon
seasonality
winter
summer
timescale
intertropical convergence zone
haze
biomass burning
forest fire
particulate matter
principal component analysis
temporal variation
spatial variation
seasonal variation
oscillation
rainfall
pollutant
atmosphere

Keywords

  • Intra-seasonal variation
  • PM10
  • Principal component analysis
  • Seasonality
  • Spatio-temporal modeling
  • Time-series analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science
  • Environmental Science(all)

Cite this

Spatio-temporal characteristics of PM10 concentration across Malaysia. / Liew, Ju Neng; Latif, Mohd Talib; Tangang @ Tajudin Mahmud, Fredolin; Mansor, Haslina.

In: Atmospheric Environment, Vol. 43, No. 30, 09.2009, p. 4584-4594.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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N2 - The recurrence of forest fires in Southeast Asia and associated biomass burning, has contributed markedly to the problem of trans-boundary haze and the long-range movement of pollutants in the region. Air pollutants, specifically particulate matter in the atmosphere, have received extensive attention, mainly because of their adverse effect on people's health. In this study, the spatial and temporal variability of the PM10 concentration across Malaysia was analyzed by means of the rotated principal component analysis. The results suggest that the variability of the PM10 concentration can be decomposed into four dominant modes, each characterizing different spatial and temporal variations. The first mode characterizes the southwest coastal region of the Malaysian Peninsular with the PM10 showing a peak concentration during the summer monsoon i.e. when the winds are predominantly southerlies or southwesterlies, and a minimal concentration during the winter monsoon. The second mode features the region of western Borneo with the PM10 exhibiting a concentration surge in August-September, which is likely to be the result of the northward shift of the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) and the subsequent rapid arrival of the rainy season. The third mode delineates the northern region of the Malaysian Peninsular with strong bimodality in the PM10 concentration. Seasonally, this component exhibits two concentration maxima during the late winter and summer monsoons, as well as two minima during the inter-monsoon periods. The fourth dominant mode characterizes the northern Borneo region which exhibits weaker seasonality of the PM10 concentration. Generally, the seasonal fluctuation of the PM10 concentration is largely associated with the seasonal variation of rainfall in the country. However, in addition to this, the PM10 concentration also fluctuates markedly in two timescale bands i.e. 10-20 days quasi-biweekly (QBW) and 30-60 days lower frequency (LF) band of the intra-seasonal timescales. These intra-seasonal fluctuations show strong seasonality with the largest fraction of variance occurring during the boreal summer and the weakest variance during the winter. Generally, the LF intra-seasonal oscillation is stronger compared to the QBW intra-seasonal band.

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