Articles | Volume 12, issue 10
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 12, 4723–4742, 2012

Special issue: European Integrated Project on Aerosol-Cloud-Climate and Air...

Atmos. Chem. Phys., 12, 4723–4742, 2012

Research article 30 May 2012

Research article | 30 May 2012

Aerosol chemical composition at Cabauw, The Netherlands as observed in two intensive periods in May 2008 and March 2009

A. A. Mensah1,*, R. Holzinger2, R. Otjes3, A. Trimborn1, Th. F. Mentel1, H. ten Brink3, B. Henzing4, and A. Kiendler-Scharr1 A. A. Mensah et al.
  • 1Institut für Energie- und Klimaforschung: Troposphäre (IEK 8), Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, Jülich, Germany
  • 2Institute for Marine and Atmospheric research Utrecht (IMAU), Utrecht, The Netherlands
  • 3Energy research Centre of The Netherlands (ECN), Petten, The Netherlands
  • 4Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO), Utrecht, The Netherlands
  • *now at: Institute of Atmospheric and Climate Science (IAC), ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland

Abstract. Observations of aerosol chemical composition in Cabauw, the Netherlands, are presented for two intensive measurement periods in May 2008 and March 2009. Sub-micron aerosol chemical composition was measured by an Aerodyne Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (AMS) and is compared to observations from aerosol size distribution measurements as well as composition measurements with a Monitor for AeRosol and GAses (MARGA) based instrument and a Thermal-Desorption Proton-Transfer-Reaction Mass-Spectrometer (TD-PTR-MS). An overview of the data is presented and the data quality is discussed. In May 2008 enhanced pollution was observed with organics contributing 40% to the PM1 mass. In contrast the observed average mass loading was lower in March 2009 and a dominance of ammonium nitrate (42%) was observed. The semi-volatile nature of ammonium nitrate is evident in the diurnal cycles with maximum concentrations observed in the morning hours in May 2008 and little diurnal variation observed in March 2009. Size dependent composition data from AMS measurements are presented and show a dominance of organics in the size range below 200 nm. A higher O:C ratio of the organics is observed for May 2008 than for March 2009. Together with the time series of individual tracer ions this shows the dominance of OOA over HOA in May 2008.

Final-revised paper