Evolution of the Physicochemical and Activation Properties of Aerosols within Smoke Plumes during the Biomass Burning Observation Project (BBOP)

Friday, 19 December 2014
Jason M Tomlinson1, Fan Mei1, Jian Wang2, Jennifer M Comstock1, John Hubbe1, Mikhail Pekour1, John E Shilling1, Edward Fortner3, Duli Chand1, Arthur J Sedlacek III2, Lawrence I Kleinman2, Gunnar Senum2 and Beat Schmid1, (1)Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA, United States, (2)Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY, United States, (3)Aerodyne Research Inc., Billerica, MA, United States
Biomass burning from wildfires and controlled agricultural burns are known to be a major source of fine particles and organic aerosols at northern temperate latitudes during the summer months. However, the evolution of the physicochemical properties of the aerosol during transport and the potential impact of this evolution on cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) activity has rarely been studied for these events. During the DOE-sponsored Biomass Burning Observation Project (BBOP) conducted in the summer and fall of 2013, over 30 research flights sampled biomass burning plumes from wildfires in the Northwestern United States and agricultural burns in the Mid-South region of the United States.

A large suite of instruments aboard the DOE G-1 (Gulfstream-1) measured the chemical, physical, and optical properties of biomass burning aerosol with an emphasis on black carbon. A Fast Integrated Mobility Spectrometer (FIMS), Ultra High Sensitivity Aerosol Spectrometer - Airborne (UHSAS-A), and Passive Cavity Aerosol Spectrometer (PCASP) were used to measure the aerosol size distribution from 15 – 3,000 nm at 1-Hz. A dual column CCN counter measured the CCN number concentration at supersaturations of 0.25% and 0.50% at a time resolution of 1-Hz and the aerosol chemical composition was measured using a soot particle aerosol mass spectrometer (SP-AMS, Aerodyne, Inc). The SP-AMS was operated in two modes: (i) as a traditional high-resolution time-of-flight aerosol mass spectrometer (HR-ToF-AMS, Aerodyne Inc.), which measured chemical composition of non-refractory aerosols and (ii) as the SP-AMS which measured chemical composition of the refractory black carbon-containing (rBC) particle coating and rBC aerosol mass. Utilizing the aforementioned measurements, a CCN closure study is used to investigate the emitted aerosol hygroscopicity, the evolution of the physicochemical properties of the aerosol, and the potential impacts on cloud microphysics from the different fuel sources.