Articles | Volume 10, issue 14
23 Jul 2010
 | 23 Jul 2010

The Finokalia Aerosol Measurement Experiment – 2008 (FAME-08): an overview

M. Pikridas, A. Bougiatioti, L. Hildebrandt, G. J. Engelhart, E. Kostenidou, C. Mohr, A. S. H. Prévôt, G. Kouvarakis, P. Zarmpas, J. F. Burkhart, B.-H. Lee, M. Psichoudaki, N. Mihalopoulos, C. Pilinis, A. Stohl, U. Baltensperger, M. Kulmala, and S. N. Pandis

Abstract. A month (4 May to 8 June 2008) of ambient aerosol, air ion and gas phase sampling (Finokalia Aerosol Measurement Experiment 2008, FAME-08) was conducted at Finokalia, on the island of Crete, Greece. The purpose of the study was to characterize the physical and chemical properties of aged aerosol and to investigate new particle formation. Measurements included aerosol and air ion size distributions, size-resolved chemical composition, organic aerosol thermal volatility, water uptake and particle optical properties (light scattering and absorption). Statistical analysis of the aerosol mass concentration variations revealed the absence of diurnal patterns suggesting the lack of strong local sources. Sulfates accounted for approximately half of the particulate matter less than 1 micrometer in diameter (PM1) and organics for 28%. The PM1 organic aerosol fraction was highly oxidized with 80% water soluble. The supermicrometer particles were dominated by crustal components (50%), sea salt (24%) and nitrates (16%). The organic carbon to elemental carbon (OC/EC) ratio correlated with ozone measurements but with a one-day lag. The average OC/EC ratio for the study period was equal to 5.4. For three days air masses from North Africa resulted in a 6-fold increase of particulate matter less than 10 micrometers in diameter (PM10) and a decrease of the OC/EC ratio by a factor of 2. Back trajectory analysis, based on FLEXPART footprint plots, identified five source regions (Athens, Greece, Africa, other continental and marine), each of which influenced the PM1 aerosol composition and properties. Marine air masses had the lowest PM1 concentrations and air masses from the Balkans, Turkey and Eastern Europe the highest.

Final-revised paper