Simulations of organic aerosol concentrations during springtime in the Guanzhong Basin, China
- 1School of Human Settlements and Civil Engineering, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, Shaanxi, China
- 2Key Lab of Aerosol Chemistry and Physics, State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi'an, China
- 3School of Energy and Power Engineering, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, Shaanxi, China
- 4Molina Center for Energy and the Environment, La Jolla, CA, USA
- 5Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA
Abstract. The organic aerosol (OA) concentration is simulated in the Guanzhong Basin, China from 23 to 25 April 2013 utilizing the WRF-CHEM model. Two approaches are used to predict OA concentrations: (1) a traditional secondary organic aerosol (SOA) module; (2) a non-traditional SOA module including the volatility basis-set modeling method in which primary organic aerosol (POA) is assumed to be semivolatile and photochemically reactive. Generally, the spatial patterns and temporal variations of the calculated hourly near-surface ozone and fine particle matters agree well with the observations in Xi'an and surrounding areas. The model also yields reasonable distributions of daily PM2.5 and elemental carbon (EC) compared to the filter measurements at 29 sites in the basin. Filter-measured organic carbon (OC) and EC are used to evaluate OA, POA, and SOA using the OC ∕ EC ratio approach. Compared with the traditional SOA module, the non-traditional module significantly improves SOA simulations and explains about 88 % of the observed SOA concentration. Oxidation and partitioning of POA treated as semivolatile constitute the most important pathway for the SOA formation, contributing more than 75 % of the SOA concentrations in the basin. Residential emissions are the dominant anthropogenic OA source, constituting about 50 % of OA concentrations in urban and rural areas and 30 % in the background area. The OA contribution from transportation emissions decreases from 25 % in urban areas to 20 % in the background area, and the industry emission OA contribution is less than 6 %.