Chemical characterization and source apportionment of submicron aerosols measured in Senegal during the 2015 SHADOW campaign
Abstract. The present study offers the first chemical characterization of the submicron (PM1) fraction in western Africa at a high time resolution, thanks to collocated measurements of nonrefractory (NR) species with an Aerosol Chemical Speciation Monitor (ACSM), black carbon and iron concentrations derived from absorption coefficient measurements with a 7-wavelength Aethalometer, and total PM1 determined by a TEOM-FDMS (tapered element oscillating microbalance–filtered dynamic measurement system) for mass closure. The field campaign was carried out over 3 months (March to June 2015) as part of the SHADOW (SaHAran Dust Over West Africa) project at a coastal site located in the outskirts of the city of Mbour, Senegal. With an averaged mass concentration of 5.4 µg m−3, levels of NR PM1 in Mbour were 3 to 10 times lower than those generally measured in urban and suburban polluted environments. Nonetheless the first half of the observation period was marked by intense but short pollution events (NR PM1 concentrations higher than 15 µg m−3), sea breeze phenomena and Saharan desert dust outbreaks (PM10 up to 900 µg m−3). During the second half of the campaign, the sampling site was mainly under the influence of marine air masses. The air masses on days under continental and sea breeze influences were dominated by organics (36–40 %), whereas sulfate particles were predominant (40 %) for days under oceanic influence. Overall, measurements showed that about three-quarters of the total PM1 were explained by NR PM1, BC (black carbon) and Fe (a proxy for dust) concentrations, leaving approximately one-quarter for other refractory species. A mean value of 4.6 % for the Fe ∕ PM1 ratio was obtained. Source apportionment of the organic fraction, using positive matrix factorization (PMF), highlighted the impact of local combustion sources, such as traffic and residential activities, which contribute on average to 52 % of the total organic fraction. A new organic aerosol (OA) source, representing on average 3 % of the total OA fraction, showed similar variation to nonrefractory particulate chloride. Its rose plot and daily pattern pointed to local combustion processes, i.e., two open waste-burning areas located about 6 and 11 km away from the receptor site and to a lesser extent a traditional fish-smoking location. The remaining fraction was identified as oxygenated organic aerosols (OOA), a factor that prevailed regardless of the day type (45 %) and was representative of regional (approximately three-quarters) but also local (approximately one-quarter) sources due to enhanced photochemical processes.