Articles | Volume 17, issue 18
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 17, 11025–11040, 2017
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 17, 11025–11040, 2017

Research article 18 Sep 2017

Research article | 18 Sep 2017

Exploring sources of biogenic secondary organic aerosol compounds using chemical analysis and the FLEXPART model

Johan Martinsson1,2, Guillaume Monteil3, Moa K. Sporre4, Anne Maria Kaldal Hansen5, Adam Kristensson1, Kristina Eriksson Stenström1, Erik Swietlicki1, and Marianne Glasius5 Johan Martinsson et al.
  • 1Division of Nuclear Physics, Lund University, P.O. Box 118, 22100, Lund, Sweden
  • 2Centre for Environmental and Climate Research, Lund University, Ecology Building, 22362, Lund, Sweden
  • 3Department of Physical Geography, Lund University, Lund, P.O. Box 118, 22100, Lund, Sweden
  • 4Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo, P.O. Box 1022, Blindern, 0315, Oslo, Norway
  • 5Department of Chemistry and iNANO, Aarhus University, Langelandsgade 140, 8000, Aarhus C, Denmark

Abstract. Molecular tracers in secondary organic aerosols (SOAs) can provide information on origin of SOA, as well as regional scale processes involved in their formation. In this study 9 carboxylic acids, 11 organosulfates (OSs) and 2 nitrooxy organosulfates (NOSs) were determined in daily aerosol particle filter samples from Vavihill measurement station in southern Sweden during June and July 2012. Several of the observed compounds are photo-oxidation products from biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs). Highest average mass concentrations were observed for carboxylic acids derived from fatty acids and monoterpenes (12. 3 ± 15. 6 and 13. 8 ± 11. 6 ng m−3, respectively). The FLEXPART model was used to link nine specific surface types to single measured compounds. It was found that the surface category sea and ocean was dominating the air mass exposure (56 %) but contributed to low mass concentration of observed chemical compounds. A principal component (PC) analysis identified four components, where the one with highest explanatory power (49 %) displayed clear impact of coniferous forest on measured mass concentration of a majority of the compounds. The three remaining PCs were more difficult to interpret, although azelaic, suberic, and pimelic acid were closely related to each other but not to any clear surface category. Hence, future studies should aim to deduce the biogenic sources and surface category of these compounds. This study bridges micro-level chemical speciation to air mass surface exposure at the macro level.

Short summary
This study attempts to link observations of biogenic organic compounds found in atmospheric particles to landscape exposure of the incoming air mass. The results revealed that several of the observed compounds were connected to exposure of coniferous forests. There were also a number of landscape types that did not contribute to the biogenic organic compounds, sea and ocean as an example. This type of methodology may be important in order to study land use changes impact on air quality.
Final-revised paper