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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Cited articles

Adachi, K. and Buseck, P. B.: Atmospheric tar balls from biomass burning in Mexico, J. Geophys. Res.-Atmos., 116, D05204, https://doi.org/10.1029/2010JD015102, 2011. 
Adachi, K., Chung, S. H., and Buseck, P. R.: Shapes of soot aerosol particles and implications for their effects on climate, J. Geophys. Res.-Atmos., 115, D15206, https://doi.org/10.1029/2009JD012868, 2010. 
Adachi, K., Moteki, N., Kondo, Y., and Igarashi, Y.: Mixing states of light-absorbing particles measured using a transmission electron microscope and a single-particle soot photometer in Tokyo, Japan, J. Geophys. Res.-Atmos., 121, 9153–9164, https://doi.org/10.1002/2016JD025153, 2016. 
Adachi, K., Sedlacek, A. J., Kleinman, L., Chand, D., Hubbe, J., and Buseck, P. R.: Thermal behavior of aerosol particles from biomass burning using a transmission electron microscope, Aerosol Sci. Tech., 52, 46–56, https://doi.org/10.1080/02786826.2017.1373181, 2017. 
Alexander, D. T. L., Crozier, P. A., and Anderson, J. R.: Brown carbon spheres in East Asian outflow and their optical properties, Science, 321, 833–835, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1155296, 2008. 
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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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