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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 16, issue 9 | Copyright
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16, 5513-5529, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-16-5513-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 04 May 2016

Research article | 04 May 2016

Fossil and non-fossil source contributions to atmospheric carbonaceous aerosols during extreme spring grassland fires in Eastern Europe

Vidmantas Ulevicius1, Steigvilė Byčenkienė1, Carlo Bozzetti2, Athanasia Vlachou2, Kristina Plauškaitė1, Genrik Mordas1, Vadimas Dudoitis1, Gülcin Abbaszade3, Vidmantas Remeikis1, Andrius Garbaras1, Agne Masalaite1, Jan Blees2, Roman Fröhlich2, Kaspar R. Dällenbach2, Francesco Canonaco2, Jay G. Slowik2, Josef Dommen2, Ralf Zimmermann3,4, Jürgen Schnelle-Kreis3, Gary A. Salazar5, Konstantinos Agrios5,6, Sönke Szidat5, Imad El Haddad2, and André S. H. Prévôt2 Vidmantas Ulevicius et al.
  • 1Department of Environmental Research, SRI Center for Physical Sciences and Technology, Vilnius, 10222, Lithuania
  • 2Laboratory of Atmospheric Chemistry, Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), Villigen, 5232, Switzerland
  • 3Helmholtz Zentrum München, German Research Center for Environmental Health (GmbH), Joint Mass Spectrometry Centre, Cooperation Group Comprehensive Molecular Analytics and Helmholtz Virtual Institute of Complex Molecular Systems in Environmental Health – Aerosol and Health (HICE), Neuherberg, 85764, Germany
  • 4Analytical Chemistry & Joint Mass Spectrometry Centre, Institute of Chemistry, University of Rostock, Dr.-Lorenz-Weg 1, Rostock, 18051, Germany
  • 5Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry & Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Bern, Bern, 3012, Switzerland
  • 6Laboratory of Radiochemistry, PSI, Villigen, 5232, Switzerland

Abstract. In early spring the Baltic region is frequently affected by high-pollution events due to biomass burning in that area. Here we present a comprehensive study to investigate the impact of biomass/grass burning (BB) on the evolution and composition of aerosol in Preila, Lithuania, during springtime open fires. Non-refractory submicron particulate matter (NR-PM1) was measured by an Aerodyne aerosol chemical speciation monitor (ACSM) and a source apportionment with the multilinear engine (ME-2) running the positive matrix factorization (PMF) model was applied to the organic aerosol fraction to investigate the impact of biomass/grass burning. Satellite observations over regions of biomass burning activity supported the results and identification of air mass transport to the area of investigation. Sharp increases in biomass burning tracers, such as levoglucosan up to 683ngm−3 and black carbon (BC) up to 17µgm−3 were observed during this period. A further separation between fossil and non-fossil primary and secondary contributions was obtained by coupling ACSM PMF results and radiocarbon (14C) measurements of the elemental (EC) and organic (OC) carbon fractions. Non-fossil organic carbon (OCnf) was the dominant fraction of PM1, with the primary (POCnf) and secondary (SOCnf) fractions contributing 26–44% and 13–23% to the total carbon (TC), respectively. 5–8% of the TC had a primary fossil origin (POCf), whereas the contribution of fossil secondary organic carbon (SOCf) was 4–13%. Non-fossil EC (ECnf) and fossil EC (ECf) ranged from 13–24 and 7–13%, respectively. Isotope ratios of stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes were used to distinguish aerosol particles associated with solid and liquid fossil fuel burning.

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In early spring the Baltic region is frequently affected by high pollution events due to biomass burning in that area. Here we present a comprehensive study to investigate the impact of biomass/grass burning (BB) on the evolution and composition of aerosol in Preila, Lithuania, during springtime open fires.
In early spring the Baltic region is frequently affected by high pollution events due to biomass...
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