A Characterization Of Volatile Organic Compounds And Secondary Organic Aerosol At A Mountain Site In The Southeastern United States

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
James P. Sherman PhD, Professor (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site: https://library.appstate.edu/

Abstract: Mean temperature anomalies in the Southeastern United States (SEUS) over the past century have reflected regional cooling hypothesized to be a result of an enhancement of warm season aerosol optical thickness caused by the oxidation of biogenic volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Aerosol and gas-phase VOC measurements were made at the Appalachian Atmospheric Interdisciplinary Research (AppalAIR) site in the southern Appalachian mountains of North Carolina during the summer of 2013 in an effort to characterize warm season chemistry. Organic aerosol (OA) chemistry was characterized through a positive matrix factorization analysis resolving a low-volatility, semi-volatile, and isoprene oxidation factor contributing 34±15, 24±12, and 42±17 %, respectively to the total observed OA. Volatile organic compound characterization described chemistry that was typical of rural background levels with periods of elevated hydrocarbon and urban tracer loading that varied with synoptic flow. Chemical, meteorological, and aerosol optical property data suggested that measurements made at the AppalAIR site are representative of background atmospheric chemistry in the SEUS. Annual background secondary organic aerosol (SOA) production in the SEUS was estimated to be 0.15–0.50 GgC yr-1. Estimates of total and background SOA from this study provide evidence that the SEUS is a region of global significance in the context of global SOA budgets, and can be useful in understanding the extent of anthropogenic enhancement of summertime SOA compared to background levels.

Additional Information

Link, M., Zhou, Y., Taubman, B. et al. A characterization of volatile organic compounds and secondary organic aerosol at a mountain site in the Southeastern United States. J Atmos Chem (2015) 72: 81. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10874-015-9305-5. Publisher version of record available at: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10874-015-9305-5
Language: English
Date: 2015
Secondary organic aerosol, Southeastern United States, Positive Matrix Factorization, Aerosol mass spectrometry

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