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Title

Detection of Saharan dust and biomass burning events using near real-time intensive aerosol optical properties in the northwestern Mediterranean

AuthorsEalo, M.; Alastuey, Andrés ; Ripoll, Anna; Perez, Noemi; Minguillón, María Cruz ; Querol, Xavier ; Pandolfi, Marco
KeywordsSaharan dust events (SDE)
Biomass burning (BB)
Pollution
Positive Matrix Factorization (PMF)
Aerosol optical measurements
Issue Date18-Jan-2016
PublisherEuropean Geosciences Union
CitationAtmospheric Chemistry and Physics (2016)
AbstractThe study of Saharan dust events (SDE) and biomass burning (BB) emissions are both topic of great scientific interest since they are frequent and important polluting scenarios affecting air quality and climate. The main aim of this work is evaluating the feasibility of using near real-time in situ aerosol optical measurements for the detection of these atmospheric events in the Western Mediterranean Basin (WMB). With this aim, intensive aerosol optical properties (SAE: scattering Ångström exponent, AAE: absorption Ångström exponent, SSAAE: single scattering albedo Ångström exponent, and g: asymmetry parameter) were derived from multi-wavelength aerosol light scattering, hemispheric backscattering and absorption measurements performed at regional (Montseny; MSY, 720 m a.s.l.) and continental (Montsec; MSA, 1570 m a.s.l.) background sites in the WMB. A sensitivity study aiming at calibrating the measured intensive optical properties for SDE and BB detection is presented and discussed. The detection of Saharan dust events (SDE) by means of the SSAAE parameter and Ångström matrix depended on the altitude of the measurement station, and on SDE intensity. At MSA (mountain-top site) SSAAE detected around 85% of SDE compared with 50% at MSY station, where pollution episodes dominated by fine anthropogenic particles frequently masked the effect of mineral dust on optical properties during less intense SDE. Furthermore, an interesting feature of SSAAE was its capability to detect the presence of mineral dust after the end of SDE. Thus, resuspension processes driven by summer regional atmospheric circulations and dry conditions after SDE favored the accumulation of mineral dust at regional level having important consequences for air quality. On average, SAE, AAE and g ranged between -0.7 and 1, 1.3 and 2.5, and 0.5 and 0.75, respectively, during SDE. Based on the Aethalometer model, biomass burning (BB) contribution to equivalent black carbon (BC) accounted for 36% and 40% at MSY and MSA respectively. Linear relationships were found between AAE and %BCbb, with AAE values reaching around 1.5 when %BCbb was higher than 50%. BB contribution to organic matter (OM) at MSY was around 30%. Thus FF combustion sources showed important contributions to both BC and OM in the region under study. Results for OM source apportionment showed good agreement with simultaneous biomass burning organic aerosol (BBOA) and hydrocarbon-like organic aerosol (HOA) calculated from Positive Matrix Factorization (PMF) applied to simultaneous Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (ACSM) measurements. A wildfire episode was identified at MSY, showing AAE values up to 2 when daily BB contributions to BC and OM were 73% and 78% respectively.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.5194/acp-2015-902, 2016
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/136476
DOI10.5194/acp-2015-902, 2016
Appears in Collections:(IDAEA) Artículos
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