Insights into characteristics, sources, and evolution of submicron aerosols during harvest seasons in the Yangtze River delta region, China
Prévôt, André S.H.
- Journal Article
Rights / licenseCreative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported
Atmospheric submicron particulate matter (PM1) is one of the most significant pollution components in China. Despite its current popularity in the studies of aerosol chemistry, the characteristics, sources and evolution of atmospheric PM1 species are still poorly understood in China, particularly for the two harvest seasons, namely, the summer wheat harvest and autumn rice harvest. An Aerodyne Aerosol Chemical Speciation Monitor (ACSM) was deployed for online monitoring of PM1 components during summer and autumn harvest seasons in urban Nanjing, in the Yangtze River delta (YRD) region of China. PM1 components were shown to be dominated by organic aerosol (OA, 39 and 41%) and nitrate (23 and 20%) during the harvest seasons (the summer and autumn harvest). Positive matrix factorization (PMF) analysis of the ACSM OA mass spectra resolved four OA factors: hydrocarbon-like mixed with cooking-related OA (HOA + COA), fresh biomass-burning OA (BBOA), oxidized biomass-burning-influenced OA (OOA-BB), and highly oxidized OA (OOA); in particular the oxidized BBOA contributes ~80% of the total BBOA loadings. Both fresh and oxidized BBOA exhibited apparent diurnal cycles with peak concentration at night, when the high ambient relative humidity and low temperature facilitated the partitioning of semi-volatile organic species into the particle phase. The fresh BBOA concentrations for the harvests are estimated as BBOA = 15.1 × (m/z 60–0.26% × OA), where m/z (mass-to-charge ratio) 60 is a marker for levoglucosan-like species. The (BBOA + OOA-BB)/ΔCO, (ΔCO is the CO minus background CO), decreases as a function of f44 (fraction of m/z 44 in OA signal), which might indicate that BBOA was oxidized to less volatile OOA, e.g., more aged and low volatility OOA (LV-OOA) during the aging process. Analysis of air mass back trajectories indicates that the high BB pollutant concentrations are linked to the air masses from the western (summer harvest) and southern (autumn harvest) areas. Show more
Journal / seriesAtmospheric Chemistry and Physics
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