Springtime carbon emission episodes at the Gosan background site revealed by total carbon, stable carbon isotopic composition, and thermal characteristics of carbonaceous particles
- Institute of Low Temperature Science, Hokkaido University, Sapporo 0600819, Japan
Abstract. In order to investigate the emission of carbonaceous aerosols at the Gosan background super-site (33.17° N, 126.10° E) in East Asia, total suspended particles (TSP) were collected during spring of 2007 and 2008 and analyzed for particulate organic carbon, elemental carbon, total carbon (TC), total nitrogen (TN), and stable carbon isotopic composition (δ13C) of TC. The stable carbon isotopic composition of TC (δ13CTC) was found to be lowest during pollen emission episodes (range: −26.2‰ to −23.5‰, avg. −25.2 ± 0.9‰), approaching those of the airborne pollen (−28.0‰) collected at the Gosan site. Based on a carbon isotope mass balance equation, we found that ~42% of TC in the TSP samples during the pollen episodes was attributed to airborne pollen from Japanese cedar trees planted around tangerine farms in Jeju Island. A negative correlation between the citric acid-carbon/TC ratios and δ13CTC was obtained during the pollen episodes. These results suggest that citric acid emitted from tangerine fruit may be adsorbed on the airborne pollen and then transported to the Gosan site. Thermal evolution patterns of organic carbon during the pollen episodes were characterized by high OC evolution in the OC2 temperature step (450 °C). Since thermal evolution patterns of organic aerosols are highly influenced by their molecular weight, they can be used as additional information on the formation of secondary organic aerosols and the effect of aging of organic aerosols during the long-range atmospheric transport and sources of organic aerosols.