Transport of pollution to a remote coastal site during gap flow from California's interior: impacts on aerosol composition, clouds, and radiative balance
Abstract. During the CalWater 2015 field campaign, ground-level observations of aerosol size, concentration, chemical composition, and cloud activity were made at Bodega Bay, CA, on the remote California coast. A strong anthropogenic influence on air quality, aerosol physicochemical properties, and cloud activity was observed at Bodega Bay during periods with special weather conditions, known as Petaluma Gap flow, in which air from California's interior is transported to the coast. This study applies a diverse set of chemical, cloud microphysical, and meteorological measurements to the Petaluma Gap flow phenomenon for the first time. It is demonstrated that the sudden and often dramatic change in aerosol properties is strongly related to regional meteorology and anthropogenically influenced chemical processes in California's Central Valley. In addition, it is demonstrated that the change in air mass properties from those typical of a remote marine environment to properties of a continental regime has the potential to impact atmospheric radiative balance and cloud formation in ways that must be accounted for in regional climate simulations.