Aerosol dynamics upon Terni basin (Central Italy): results of integrated vertical profile measurements and electron microscopy analyses
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In this work, aerosol size distribution measurements along with individual particle analyses were performed along the vertical profile in the atmosphere, to shed some light on the dynamics of evolution of aerosol properties upon a basin valley. The case study is the Terni basin, one of the most polluted urban and industrial sites in central Italy. Aerosol vertical profile measurements were performed using a helium-filled tethered balloon equipped with an optical particle counter (OPC), a miniaturized cascade impactor with particle collection filter, and a portable meteorological station. Combined OPC number size measurements and single particle analyses by scanning electron microscopy were employed to reconstruct the pattern and evolution of aerosol properties over the basin. Moreover, the CHIMERE chemistry-transport model was applied over a selected computing domain to obtain a general overview of the driving forces of the aerosol dynamics. Scanning electron microscopy methods along with chemical transport modeling revealed distinct distributions of number, size and geochemical properties of different particles classes in the aerosols. These reflect distinct behaviours and spatial/temporal evolution of the constituent particles, along with the common occurrence of dust inputs from regional to long range sources (e.g., Saharan dust inputs). All these features have to be taken into consideration when approaching the modeling of atmospheric processes, particularly in basin valleys located in Central and Southern Italy where the influence of Saharan dust outbreaks is more pronounced.
KeywordsSize distribution Particle morphochemistry Optical particle counter Scanning electron microscopy CHIMERE chemistry-transport model
Prof. Giorgio Liuti died during the preparation of the manuscript. This work and our future endeavours are dedicated to him, whose intellectual honesty and genuine love of chemistry continue to inform our scientific life. We thank Fondazione CARIT di Terni e Narni for financial support to this research. We also thank ARPA Umbria for providing detailed regional emission data.
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