Long-term Chemical Characterization of Submicron Aerosol Particles in the Amazon Forest – ATTO Station
Wednesday, 16 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
The study of the chemical composition of aerosol particles in the Amazon forest represents a step forward to understand the strong coupling between the atmosphere and the forest. For this reason submicron aerosol particles were investigated in the Amazon forest, where biogenic and anthropogenic aerosol particles coexist at the different seasons (wet/dry). The measurements were performed at the ATTO station, which is located about 150 km northeast of Manaus. At ATTO station the Aerosol chemical speciation monitor (ACSM, Aerodyne) and the Multiangle absorption photometer (MAAP, Thermo 5012) have been operated continuously from March 2014 to July 2015. In this study, long-term measurements (near-real-time, ~30 minutes) of PM1 chemical composition were investigated for the first time in this environment.The wet season presented lower concentrations than the dry season (~5 times). In terms of chemical composition, both seasons were dominated by organics (75 and 63%) followed by sulfate (11 and 13%). Nitrate presented different ratio values between the mass-to-charges 30 to 46 (main nitrate fragments) suggesting the presence of nitrate as inorganic and organic nitrate during both seasons. The results indicated that about 75% of the nitrate signal was from organic nitrate during the dry season. In addition, several episodes with elevated amount of chloride, likely in the form of sea-salt from the Atlantic Ocean, were observed during the wet season. During those episodes, chloride comprised up to 7% of the PM1. During the dry season, chloride was also observed; however, with different volatility, which suggested that Chloride was present in different form and source. Moreover, the constant presence of sulfate and BC during the wet season might be related to biomass burning emissions from Africa. BC concentration was 2.5 times higher during the dry season. Further characterization of the organic fraction was accomplished with the positive matrix factorization (PMF), which revealed four different organic aerosol components with very distinct chemical characteristics for the dry season and three for the wet season.