, Volume 69, Issue 2, pp 159-174
Date: 02 Jun 2012

Biogenic and anthropogenic organic matter in aerosol over continental Europe: source characterization in the east Baltic region

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An Aerodyne quadruple aerosol mass spectrometer (Q-AMS) has been used to provide on-line measurements of size dependent chemical composition of fine aerosol particles (PM1) at the Air Pollution Research Station in Preila, Lithuania, representing the east Baltic region. The size dependent chemical composition measurements by AMS have revealed that in marine air masses 118 nm mode organics-containing particles were fresher compared to sulfate-containing particles (295 nm), likely originated as secondary aerosol from forest emissions or produced by primary sea spray over the Baltic Sea. In polluted continental air masses sulfate and organics were highly internally mixed and aged. The mass spectral results indicated that the major components of organic compounds were oxygenated organic species with strong signals at m/z 18, 43, 44 with several specific features. Positive matrix factorization (PMF) of AMS organic mass spectral data has identified three factors: aged oxygenated low-volatility organic aerosol (LV-OOA), less oxygenated semi-volatile organic aerosol (SV-OOA), and biogenic organic aerosol (BGOA) of either terrestrial or marine origin. The measurements were compared with a real-time particulate matter Beta Absorption Monitor (Thermo ESM Andersen) and Micro Orifice Uniform Deposit Impactor (MOUDI) data. The intercomparison showed a good correlation and a stable ratio between PM1 and PM2.5 concentrations. A comparison of the on-line Q-AMS data and the off-line MOUDI fine particle (<1 μm) data yielded a reasonable agreement in size distributions but not the absolute mass concentrations due to sampling conditions, evaporation of acidic species from sampling substrates and bounce of the particles in the MOUDI.