A Study of Aerosol Optical and Chemical Properties from the Perspectives of Source Region, Local, and Synoptic Meteorology During Summer 2013 at a Southeast US Regionally Representative Site
Wednesday, 17 December 2014
An intensive summer 2013 aerosol field campaign was conducted at the Appalachian Atmospheric Interdisciplinary Research facility at Appalachian State University (AppalAIR), coinciding with the SOAS campaign in the SE U.S. Measurements included lower tropospheric and column-averaged aerosol properties as part of the NOAA-ESRL and NASA AERONET, lidar-derived vertical profiles of aerosols and clouds, surface and vertical meteorology, and aerosol and organic precursor chemical composition. Clustered 120-hour HYSPLIT back-trajectories were used to determine the influence of source region on aerosol properties and composition. A synoptic-scale weather classification scheme (Sheridan 2000) was applied to bin the aerosol properties by synoptic weather type. Co-located near-surface T, P, and RH measurements and vertical profiles from 75 radiosonde launches were used to determine the influence of local meteorology on the aerosol properties. The anomalously cool, wet summer dampened and delayed the summer peak in aerosol scattering and absorption, relative to previous summers and limited the number of sunphotometer retrievals of column-averaged aerosol properties. Nevertheless, aerosol loading, composition, and several key optical properties such as absorption Angstrom exponent displayed distinct dependence on source region and meteorology. As an example, both light scattering and isoprene-derived SOA concentrations (Link et al, 2014) were highest for more pollution-influenced NE air masses, for which lower hemispheric backscatter fractions and absorption Angstrom exponents were observed. Aerosol loading was generally lower for SW and SE air masses, with the exception of extra-moist tropical weather types, which coincided with high aerosol optical depth and larger, hygroscopic, primarily scattering particles. Aerosol loading increased with local temperature and pressure and some other properties also displayed temperature dependence but the range of temperatures observed during summer 2013 was much less than previous summers, making it difficult to draw significant conclusions based solely on the summer 2013 data. Aerosol optical properties from summer 2013 will also be placed in a longer-term context by comparisons with those from previous summers.