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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  08 Jun 2020

08 Jun 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Source apportionment of black carbon aerosols from light absorption observation and source-oriented modeling: An implication in a coastal city in China

Junjun Deng1, Hao Guo2, Hongliang Zhang3, Jialei Zhu1, Xin Wang1, and Pingqing Fu1 Junjun Deng et al.
  • 1Institute of Surface-Earth System Science, School of Earth System Science, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, China
  • 2Department of Earth System Science, University of California Irvine, CA 92697-3100, USA
  • 3Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Fudan University, Shanghai 200438, China

Abstract. Black carbon (BC) is the most important light absorbing aerosol in the atmosphere. However, sources of atmospheric BC aerosols are largely uncertain, making it difficult to assess its influence on radiative forcing and climate change. In this study, year-round light-absorption observations were conducted during 2014 using an aethalometer in Xiamen, a coastal city in southeast China. Source apportionment of BC was performed and temporal variations in BC sources were characterized based on both light absorption measurements and a source-oriented air quality model. The annual average concentrations of BC from fossil fuel (BCff) and biomass burning (BCbb) were 2932 ± 1444 ng m−3 and 1340 ± 542 ng m−3, contributing 66.7 % and 33.3 % to total BC, respectively. BCbb contribution exhibited clear diurnal cycle with the highest level (37.9 %) in the evening rush hour and seasonal pattern with the maximum (39.9 %) in winter. Conditional probability function (CPF) analysis revealed the large biomass burning contributions were accompanied by east-northeasterly and northerly winds. Backward trajectory indicated that air masses from north and east-central China were associated with larger biomass burning contributions. Potential source contribution function (PSCF) and concentration-weighted trajectory (CWT) suggested that north and east-central China and Southeast Asia were potential sources for both BCff and BCbb. The source-oriented modeling results showed that transportation, residential and open biomass burning accounting for 45.3 %, 30.1 % and 17.6 % were the major BC sources. Among the three fuel catalogs, liquid fossil fuel (46.5 %) was the largest source, followed by biomass burning (32.6 %) and coal combustion (20.9 %). Source contributions of biomass burning and fossil fuel combustion identified by the source-oriented model and observation-based method were in good agreement. The source-oriented model also captured the majority of seasonal variations in source contributions. The findings provide solid supports for controlling fossil fuel sources to limit the impacts of BC on climate change and environmental degradation in the relatively clean region in China.

Junjun Deng et al.

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Junjun Deng et al.

Junjun Deng et al.


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Publications Copernicus
Short summary
One-year source apportionment of BC aerosols in a coastal city in China was conducted with the light-absorption observation-based method and source-oriented model. Source contributions identified by the two source apportionment methods were in good agreement. Temporal variability, potential sources and transport pathways of BC from fossil fuel and biomass burning were characterized. Significant influence of biomass burning in north and east-central China on BC in the region was highlighted.
One-year source apportionment of BC aerosols in a coastal city in China was conducted with the...