Volatility basis-set approach simulation of organic aerosol formation in East Asia: implications for anthropogenic–biogenic interaction and controllable amounts
Abstract. Organic aerosol (OA) simulations using the volatility basis-set approach were made for East Asia and its outflow region. Model simulations were evaluated through comparisons with OA measured by aerosol mass spectrometers in and around Tokyo (at Komaba and Kisai in summer 2003 and 2004) and over the outflow region in East Asia (at Fukue and Hedo in spring 2009). The simulations with aging processes of organic vapors reproduced the mass concentrations, temporal variations, and formation efficiencies of observed OA at all of the sites reasonably well. As OA mass was severely underestimated in the simulations without the aging processes, the oxidations of organic vapors are essential for reasonable OA simulations over East Asia. By considering the aging processes, simulated OA concentrations increased from 0.24 to 1.28 μg m−3 in the boundary layer over the whole of East Asia. OA formed from the interaction of anthropogenic and biogenic sources was also enhanced by the aging processes. The fraction of controllable OA was estimated to be 87% of total OA over the whole of East Asia, which indicated that most of the OA in our simulations were formed anthropogenically (from controllable combustion sources). A large portion of biogenic secondary OA (78% of biogenic secondary OA) was formed through the influence of anthropogenic sources. These fractions were higher than the fraction of anthropogenic emissions. An important reason for these higher controllable fractions was higher oxidant concentrations and the resulting faster oxidation rates of OA precursors by considering anthropogenic sources. Both the amounts (from 0.18 to 1.12 μg m−3) and the fraction (from 75 to 87%) of controllable OA were increased by aging processes of organic vapors over East Asia.