An article seems to assert that air pollution can be held in place (or 'trapped') by high mountains surrounding the area of air pollution.

This seems very understandable. But the same article seems to assert that this is the case for water (read: lakes, seas, et cetera) as well?

To clarify, I will quote the relevant passage:

Taiwan's topography is one cause of its air pollution problem. Taipei, the capital and largest city, is effectively in a "bowl" ringed by mountains, while other industrial centers are along the northern and western coasts of the island, surrounded by water and high mountains.

My question is: how is water surrounding an area of pollution, able to 'trap' that pollution, or otherwise deteriorate air quality?

Please provide at least one relevant source, when answering this question. Your knowledge would be much appreciated.

  • $\begingroup$ Pollution is trapped when mixing is stopped. This can be done with physical barriers, calm winds, or temperature inversions. I don't see where in that article they assert that water can trap pollution... please quote the part of the article you are referring to $\endgroup$
    – f.thorpe
    Commented Mar 31, 2017 at 0:08
  • $\begingroup$ @farrenthorpe I have inserted the relevant paragraph into the question, as per your request. $\endgroup$
    – O0123
    Commented Apr 1, 2017 at 15:03
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ it doesn not sound like they are saying water acts as a trap, but that mountains act as a trap. If the prevailing wind direction is coming in from the sea then the even an incomplete ring of mountains will act as a trap by slowing dispersal. $\endgroup$
    – John
    Commented Apr 1, 2017 at 15:47
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    $\begingroup$ I agree with John, they aren't saying water traps air pollution... it's the mountains. $\endgroup$
    – f.thorpe
    Commented Apr 1, 2017 at 17:02
  • $\begingroup$ Perhaps water could create a pressure area in the air though, depending on the weather, as the temperature above the water would be different due to a differing albedo affect with the land surrounding it. Of course, this isn't taking into account other weather variables. $\endgroup$
    – O0123
    Commented Apr 1, 2017 at 23:14


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