15 Mar 2022
15 Mar 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Columnar and surface urban aerosol in Moscow megacity according to measurements and simulations with COSMO-ART model

Natalia Chubarova1, Elizaveta Androsova1, Alexander Kirsanov2, Olga Popovicheva3, Bernhard Vogel4, Heike Vogel4, and Gdaliy Rivin2 Natalia Chubarova et al.
  • 1Faculty of Geography, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, 119991, Russian Federation
  • 2Hydrometeorological Research Center of Russian Federation, Moscow, 123242, Russian Federation
  • 3Faculty of Physics, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, 119991, Russian Federation
  • 4Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Karlsruhe, Germany

Abstract. Urban aerosol pollution was analyzed over the Moscow megacity region using COSMO-ART chemical transport model and intensive measurement campaigns at the Moscow State University Meteorological Observatory (MSU MO, 55.707° N, 37.522° E) during April-May period in 2018 and 2019. We analyzed mass concentrations of Particulate Matter with diameter smaller 10 micron (PM10), Black Carbon (BC), and aerosol gas precursors (NOx, SO2, CHx) as well as columnar aerosol parameters for fine and coarse modes together with different meteorological parameters including an index characterizing the Intensity of Particle Dispersion (IPD). Both model and experimental datasets have shown a statistically significant linear correlation of BC with NO2 and PM10 mass concentrations, which indicates mostly common sources of emissions of these substances. There was a pronounced increase in the BC / PM10 ratio from 0.7 % to 5.9 % with the decrease in IPD index related to the amplification of the atmospheric stratification. We also found an inverse dependence between the BC / PM10 ratio and columnar single scattering albedo (SSA) for the intense air mixing conditions. This dependence together with the obtained negative correlation between wind speed and BC / PM10 may serve an indicator of changes in the absorbing properties of the atmosphere due to meteorological factors. On average, relatively low for urban regions BC / PM10 ratio of 4.7 % is the cause of the observed relatively high SSA = 0.94 in Moscow. Using long-term parallel aerosol optical depth (AOD) measurements over the 2006–2020 period at the MSU MO and in upwind clean background conditions at Zvenigorod Scientific Station (ZSS) of the IAP RAS (55.7° N, 36.8° E), we estimated the urban component of AOD (AODurb) and some other parameters as the differences at these sites. The average AODurb at 550 nm was about 0.021 with more than 85 % of fine aerosol mode. The comparisons between AODurb obtained from model and measurements during the experiment have revealed a similar level of aerosol pollution of about AODurb = 0.015–0.019, which comprised 15–19 % of the total AOD at 550 nm. The urban component of PM10 (PM10urb) was about 0.016 mg m-3 according to the measurements and 0.006 mg m-3 according to the COSMO-ART simulations. We obtained a pronounced diurnal cycle of PM10urb and urban BC (BCurb), as well as their strong correlation with the IPDs. With the IPD index change from 3 to 1 at night, there was about 4 times increase in PM10urb (up to 0.030–0.040 mg m-3) and 3 times increase in BCurb (up to 0.003–0.0035 mg m-3). At the same time, no pronounced daily cycle was found for the columnar urban aerosol component (AODurb), although there is a slight tendency to the increase in model AODurb at night. We also obtained a close relationship between the calculated and measured PM10urb values, their dependence on IPD index, and the pronounced growth of PM10urb with the PM10 increase.

Natalia Chubarova et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on acp-2022-83', Anonymous Referee #1, 13 Apr 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on acp-2022-83', Anonymous Referee #2, 29 Apr 2022

Natalia Chubarova et al.

Natalia Chubarova et al.


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Short summary
The effects of urban aerosol pollution in Moscow megacity were analyzed using COSMO-ART chemical transport model and intensive measurement campaigns. We show that urban aerosol comprises about 15–20 % of columnar aerosol content consisting mainly of fine aerosol mode. Black Carbon (BC) fraction is about 5 %, depending on particle dispersion intensity (IPD). BC fraction low value explains weak absorbing properties of the Moscow atmosphere. The IPD also defines daily cycle of urban aerosol species.