Record heavy PM2.5 air pollution (maximum concentration of ∼1 mg m-3) observed over China in January 2013 was analyzed. The vertical and horizontal scales of the pollution layer are critically important parameters for the analysis of pollution phenomena, but they are difficult to measure. This is because the PM2.5 aerosol concentration is so high that ordinary remote-sensing methods such as ground-based and space-borne lidar inversion are difficult to apply. First, we showed the detailed time-height structure of aerosol extinction coefficients based on Beijing lidar observation, by assuming a non-zero boundary extinction coefficient and using 3D chemical transport modeling (CTM). The aerosol structure derived from lidar observations and the CTM results were in close agreement. Using ground-based lidar, we also found that a shallow aerosol layer (height of 200-300 m) remained over Beijing for a long time. We also successfully showed that the horizontal extent of the aerosol layer over the China Plain was several hundred km based on CALIOP observations and CTM.
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