Improving the Representation of Near Source and Downwind Smoke Plume Chemistry in Regional and Global Air Quality Models

Monday, 14 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Matthew James Alvarado, Atmospheric and Environmental Research Lexington, Lexington, MA, United States
The complex photochemistry within a biomass burning smoke plume can cause large changes in the concentration, size distribution, composition, and optical properties of the fine particles (PM2.5) emitted by the fires, as well as significant formation of ozone (O3) and organic nitrate species like peroxyacetyl nitrate (PAN). The Aerosol Simulation Program (ASP) is designed to simulate this chemical evolution of biomass burning plumes under a wide variety of conditions, and can be used to parameterize this chemistry in regional and global air quality models. Here we present ASP simulations of the evolution of biomass burning aerosol from South Carolina prescribed fires in October and November of 2011. This data set contains more detailed measurements of the non-methane organic compounds (NMOCs) in the smoke than the data sets previously used to develop and test ASP, allowing for a more detailed evaluation of the model’s gas- and particle-phase chemistry. We also assess the potential impact of secondary organic aerosol (SOA) from glyoxal and isoprene epoxydiols (IEPOX) on the growth of biomass burning aerosols by incorporating the simpleGAMMA (Gas-Aerosol Model for Mechanism Analysis) model into ASP. Finally, we will discuss our efforts to use the ASP model to build a sub-grid scale parameterization of the near-source chemistry of biomass burning plumes for use in regional and global air quality models, using examples from the global chemical transport model GEOS-Chem and the stochastic Lagrangian air quality model STILT-Chem.