Atmospheric submicron aerosol composition and particulate organic nitrate formation in a boreal forestland–urban mixed region
Abstract. The Puijo aerosol–cloud observation station is a unique measurement site for its location in the mixed region between the boreal forestland and the municipality of Kuopio, Finland. A measurement campaign was carried out at the station during fall 2010. An Aerodyne high-resolution time-of-flight aerosol mass spectrometer (HR-Tof-AMS) was deployed to characterize the atmospheric submicron aerosols. Positive matrix factorization (PMF) was applied to the unified high-resolution mass spectra organic species with NO+ and NO2+ ions to discover the intrinsic relationships between the organic and inorganic species and their daily cycles. On average, the submicron aerosols in this study were dominated by organic and sulfate species, composing 48.2 and 28.7% of total observed aerosol mass, respectively, with smaller contributions from ammonium (9.3%), nitrate (4.9%), chloride (0.8%) and BC (8.1%). The sources of these species included the primary emissions originating from the city area, secondary formation from both natural and anthropogenic emissions and regional transport. The PMF analysis succeeded in separating the mixed organic and inorganic spectra into three distinct organic and one inorganic factors. For organic factors, the semi-volatile oxygenated organic aerosol (SVOOA) and low-volatility oxygenated OA (LVOOA) accounted for 54.8 and 36.3% of total organic masses, respectively, while the hydrocarbon-like organic aerosol (HOA) accounted for 8.9% of total organics, with its main source from urban emissions. The inorganic factor is identified as NH4NO3, comprising 6.9% of the fitted aerosol mass by PMF. Based on the PMF results, the nitrate species were separated into organic and inorganic components, with the organic nitrates contributing one-third of the total nitrate mass. The results highlight both anthropogenic and biogenic emissions as important atmospheric aerosol sources in a forest–urban mixed region.