Articles | Volume 18, issue 15
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 18, 11289–11301, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-18-11289-2018
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 18, 11289–11301, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-18-11289-2018
Research article
 | Highlight paper
13 Aug 2018
Research article  | Highlight paper | 13 Aug 2018

Formation and evolution of tar balls from northwestern US wildfires

Arthur J. Sedlacek III et al.

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Short summary
This paper presents the first direct atmospheric observations of the formation and evolution of tar balls (TBs) in forest fires collected during the Department of Energy’s Biomass Burning Observation Project (BBOP). We quantify, for the first time, the TB mass fraction in the BB plumes and show that this mass fraction increases from less than 1 % to 50 % within the first couple of hours of plume aging. Using Mie theory we find that TBs are consistent with being weak light absorbers.
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