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Volume 15, issue 7 | Copyright

Special issue: Amazonian Aerosol Characterization Experiment 2008...

Atmos. Chem. Phys., 15, 3687-3701, 2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 02 Apr 2015

Research article | 02 Apr 2015

Submicron particle mass concentrations and sources in the Amazonian wet season (AMAZE-08)

Q. Chen1,*, D. K. Farmer2,**, L. V. Rizzo3, T. Pauliquevis3, M. Kuwata1,***, T. G. Karl4,****, A. Guenther4,*****, J. D. Allan5, H. Coe5, M. O. Andreae6, U. Pöschl6, J. L. Jimenez2, P. Artaxo7, and S. T. Martin1 Q. Chen et al.
  • 1School of Engineering and Applied Sciences & Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA
  • 2Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry & Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Science, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA
  • 3Department of Natural and Earth Sciences, Federal University of São Paulo, Diadema, Brazil
  • 4National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO, USA
  • 5National Centre for Atmospheric Science & School of Earth, Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
  • 6Biogeochemistry and Multiphase Chemistry Departments, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Mainz, Germany
  • 7Applied Physics Department & Atmospheric Science Department, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
  • *now at: State Key Joint Laboratory of Environmental Simulation and Pollution Control, College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Peking University, Beijing, China
  • **now at: Department of Chemistry, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, USA
  • ***now at: Earth Observatory of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
  • ****now at: Institute of Meteorology and Geophysics, University of Innsbruck, Austria
  • *****now at: Atmospheric Sciences and Global Change Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA, USA

Abstract. Real-time mass spectra of the non-refractory species in submicron aerosol particles were recorded in a tropical rainforest in the central Amazon Basin during the wet season from February to March 2008, as a part of the Amazonian Aerosol Characterization Experiment (AMAZE-08). Organic material accounted on average for more than 80% of the non-refractory submicron particle mass concentrations during the period of measurements. There was insufficient ammonium to neutralize sulfate. In this acidic, isoprene-rich, HO2-dominant environment, positive-matrix factorization of the time series of particle mass spectra identified four statistical factors to account for the 99% of the variance in the signal intensities of the organic constituents. The first factor was identified as associated with regional and local pollution and labeled "HOA" for its hydrocarbon-like characteristics. A second factor was associated with long-range transport and labeled "OOA-1" for its oxygenated characteristics. A third factor, labeled "OOA-2," was implicated as associated with the reactive uptake of isoprene oxidation products, especially of epoxydiols to acidic haze, fog, or cloud droplets. A fourth factor, labeled "OOA-3," was consistent with an association with the fresh production of secondary organic material (SOM) by the mechanism of gas-phase oxidation of biogenic volatile organic precursors followed by gas-to-particle conversion of the oxidation products. The suffixes 1, 2, and 3 on the OOA labels signify ordinal ranking with respect to the extent of oxidation represented by the factor. The process of aqueous-phase oxidation of water-soluble products of gas-phase photochemistry might also have been associated to some extent with the OOA-2 factor. The campaign-average factor loadings had a ratio of 1.4:1 for OOA-2 : OOA-3, suggesting the comparable importance of particle-phase compared to gas-phase pathways for the production of SOM during the study period.

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Submicron particle mass concentration in the Amazon during the wet season of 2008 was dominated by organic material. The PMF analysis finds a comparable importance of gas-phase (gas-to-particle condensation) and particle-phase (reactive uptake of isoprene oxidation products, especially of epoxydiols to acidic haze, fog, or cloud droplets) production of secondary organic material during the study period, together accounting for >70% of the organic-particle mass concentration.
Submicron particle mass concentration in the Amazon during the wet season of 2008 was dominated...