This study introduces a novel approach to the differentiation of two phenomena, Asian Dust and haze, which are extremely difficult to distinguish based solely on comparisons of PM10 concentration, through use of the Optical Particle Counter (OPC), which simultaneously generates PM10, PM2.5 and PM1.0 concentration. In the case of Asian Dust, PM10 concentration rose to the exclusion of PM2.5 and PM1.0 concentration. The relative ratios of PM2.5 and PM1.0 concentration versus PM10 concentration were below 40%, which is consistent with the conclusion that Asian Dust, as a prime example of the coarse-particle phenomenon, only impacts PM10 concentration, not PM2.5 and PM1.0 concentration. In contrast, PM10, PM2.5 and PM1.0 concentration simultaneously increased with haze. The relative ratios of PM2.5 and PM1.0 concentration versus PM10 concentration were generally above 70%. In this case, PM1.0 concentration varies because a haze event consists of secondary aerosol in the fine-mode, and the relative ratios of PM10 and PM2.5 concentration remain intact as these values already subsume PM1.0 concentration. The sequential shift of the peaks in PM10, PM2.5 and PM1.0 concentrations also serve to individually track the transport of coarse-mode versus fine-mode aerosols. The distinction in the relative ratios of PM2.5 and PM1.0 concentration versus PM10 concentration in an Asian Dust versus a haze event, when collected on a national or global scale using OPC monitoring networks, provides realistic information on outbreaks and transport of Asian Dust and haze.
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