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Volume 18, issue 13 | Copyright

Special issue: CHemistry and AeRosols Mediterranean EXperiments (ChArMEx)...

Atmos. Chem. Phys., 18, 9631-9659, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-18-9631-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 09 Jul 2018

Research article | 09 Jul 2018

Aerosol sources in the western Mediterranean during summertime: a model-based approach

Mounir Chrit1, Karine Sartelet1, Jean Sciare2,6, Jorge Pey3,a, José B. Nicolas4, Nicolas Marchand3, Evelyn Freney4, Karine Sellegri4, Matthias Beekmann5, and François Dulac2 Mounir Chrit et al.
  • 1CEREA, joint laboratory Ecole des Ponts ParisTech – EDF R&D, Université Paris-Est, 77455 Champs-sur-Marne, France
  • 2LSCE, CNRS-CEA-UVSQ,IPSL,Université Paris Saclay, Gif-sur-Yvette, France
  • 3Aix Marseille University-CNRS, LCE, Marseille, France
  • 4LAMP, UMR CNRS-Université Blaise Pascal, OPGC, Aubière, France
  • 5LISA, UMR 7583, Université Paris Diderot-Université Paris-Est Créteil, IPSL, Créteil, France
  • 6EEWRC, The Cyprus Institute, Nicosia, Cyprus
  • anow at  the Spanish Geological Survey, IGME, 50006 Zaragoza, Spain

Abstract. In the framework of ChArMEx (the Chemistry-Aerosol Mediterranean Experiment), the air quality model Polyphemus is used to understand the sources of inorganic and organic particles in the western Mediterranean and evaluate the uncertainties linked to the model parameters (meteorological fields, anthropogenic and sea-salt emissions and hypotheses related to the model representation of condensation/evaporation). The model is evaluated by comparisons to in situ aerosol measurements performed during three consecutive summers (2012, 2013 and 2014). The model-to-measurement comparisons concern the concentrations of PM10, PM1, organic matter in PM1 (OM1) and inorganic aerosol concentrations monitored at a remote site (Ersa) on Corsica Island, as well as airborne measurements performed above the western Mediterranean Sea. Organic particles are mostly from biogenic origin. The model parameterization of sea-salt emissions has been shown to strongly influence the concentrations of all particulate species (PM10, PM1, OM1 and inorganic concentrations). Although the emission of organic matter by the sea has been shown to be low, organic concentrations are influenced by sea-salt emissions; this is owing to the fact that they provide a mass onto which gaseous hydrophilic organic compounds can condense. PM10, PM1, OM1 are also very sensitive to meteorology, which affects not only the transport of pollutants but also natural emissions (biogenic and sea salt). To avoid large and unrealistic sea-salt concentrations, a parameterization with an adequate wind speed power law is chosen. Sulfate is shown to be strongly influenced by anthropogenic (ship) emissions. PM10, PM1, OM1 and sulfate concentrations are better described using the emission inventory with the best spatial description of ship emissions (EDGAR-HTAP). However, this is not true for nitrate, ammonium and chloride concentrations, which are very dependent on the hypotheses used in the model regarding condensation/evaporation. Model simulations show that sea-salt aerosols above the sea are not mixed with background transported aerosols. Taking the mixing state of particles with a dynamic approach to condensation/evaporation into account may be necessary to accurately represent inorganic aerosol concentrations.

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Fine particulate matter (PM) in the atmosphere is of concern due to its effects on health, climate, ecosystems and biological cycles, and visibility. These effects are especially important in the Mediterranean region. In this study, the air quality model Polyphemus is used to understand the sources of inorganic and organic particles in the western Mediterranean and evaluate the uncertainties linked to the model parameters and hypotheses related to condensation/evaporation in the model.
Fine particulate matter (PM) in the atmosphere is of concern due to its effects on health,...
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