Insights into Submicron Aerosol Composition and Sources from the WINTER Aircraft Campaign Over the Eastern US.
Thursday, 17 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
The WINTER aircraft campaign was a recent field experiment to probe the sources and evolution of gas pollutants and aerosols in Northeast US urban and industrial plumes during the winter. A highly customized Aerodyne aerosol mass spectrometer (AMS) was flown on the NCAR C-130 to characterize submicron aerosol composition and evolution. Thirteen research flights were conducted covering a wide range of conditions, including rural, urban, and marine environments during day and night. Organic aerosol (OA) was a large component of the submicron aerosol in the boundary layer. The fraction of OA (fOA) was smaller (35-40%) than in recent US summer campaigns (~60-70%). Biomass burning was observed to be an important source of OA in the boundary layer, which is consistent with recent wintertime studies that show a substantial contribution of residential wood burning to the OA loadings. OA oxygenation (O/C ratio) shows a broad distribution with a substantial fraction of smaller O/C ratios when compared to previous summertime campaigns. Since measurements were rarely made very close to primary sources (i.e. directly above urban areas), this is consistent with oxidative chemistry being slower during winter. SOA formation and aging in the NYC plume was observed during several flights and compared with summertime results from LA (CalNex) and Mexico City (MILAGRO). Additionally, an oxidation flow reactor (OFR) capable of oxidizing ambient air up to several equivalent days of oxidation was deployed for the first time in an aircraft platform. The aerosol outflow of the OFR was sampled with the AMS to provide real-time snapshots of the potential for aerosol formation and aging. For example, a case study of a flight through the Ohio River valley showed evidence of oxidation of SO2 to sulfate. The measured sulfate enhancements were in good agreement with our OFR chemical model. OFR results for SOA will be discussed.