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Explosion in Tianjin Port Enhances Atmospheric Nitrogen Deposition over the Bohai Sea

Nov 13, 2019

An explosion occurred in Tianjin Port on August 12, 2015. According to the characteristics of the large-scale airflow field at that time, nitrogen-containing pollutants generated by the explosion were transmitted to the Bohai Sea. However, the impact of these nitrogenous substances on the Bohai Sea region remains unclear. 

A research team led by Dr. ZONG Zheng from the Yantai Institute of Coastal Zone Research of the Chinese Academy of Sciences confirmed and evaluated the effects of the Tianjin Port explosion on the atmospheric nitrogen deposition in the Bohai Sea area.

The work was based on the nitrogen and oxygen isotopes of the aerosol nitrate on Beihuangcheng Island in the Bohai Strait, and it was published in Atmospheric and Oceanic Science Letters. 

According to this study, the nitrogen and oxygen isotopes were found to have a positive response signal due to the explosion event: the nitrogen isotopic value in nitrate decreased significantly, while the oxygen isotopic value increased significantly.

The explosion and fire caused a large increase in atmospheric nitrogen deposition in the Bohai Sea area, by 308.49 micromole N per square meter per day, in which the nitrate nitrogen deposition accounted for 86.25%. 

"We calculate the atmospheric nitrogen deposition and the total explosive nitrogen, and estimate that the impact area of the explosion on the Bohai Sea is about 1/5 of the total area of the Bohai Sea," said Dr. ZONG. 

 

Effects of the Tianjin Port explosion on the atmospheric nitrogen deposition in the Bohai Sea area. (Image by YIC)

Impact of an accidental explosion in Tianjin Port on enhanced atmospheric nitrogen deposition over the Bohai Sea inferred from aerosol nitrate dual isotopes

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