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Absorption enhancement of black carbon particles in a Mediterranean city and countryside : effect of particulate matter chemistry, ageing and trend analysis
Jesús Yus-Díez, Marta Via, Andrés Alastuey, Angeliki Karanasiou, Maria Cruz Minguillon, Noemí Perez, Xavier Querol, Cristina Reche, Matic Ivančič, Martin Rigler, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: Abstract. Black carbon (BC) is recognized as the most important warming agent among atmospheric aerosol particles. The absorption efficiency of pure BC is rather well-known, nevertheless the mixing of BC with other aerosol particles can enhance the BC light absorption efficiency, thus directly affecting Earth's radiative balance. The effects on climate of the BC absorption enhancement due to the mixing with these aerosols are not yet well constrained because these effects depend on the availability of material for mixing with BC, thus creating regional variations. Here we present the mass absorption cross-section (MAC) and absorption enhancement of BC particles (Eabs), at different wavelengths (from 370 to 880 nm for online measurements and at 637 nm for offline measurements) measured at two sites in the western Mediterranean, namely Barcelona (BCN; urban background) and Montseny (MSY; regional background). The Eabs values ranged between 1.24 and 1.51 at the urban station, depending on the season and wavelength used as well as on the pure BC MAC used as a reference. The largest contribution to Eabs was due to the internal mixing of BC particles with other aerosol compounds, on average between a 91 % and a 100 % at 370 and 880 nm, respectively. Additionally, 14.5 % and 4.6 % of the total enhancement at the short ultraviolet (UV) wavelength (370 nm) was due to externally mixed brown carbon (BrC) particles during the cold and the warm period, respectively. On average, at the MSY station, a higher Eabs value was observed (1.83 at 637 nm) compared to BCN (1.37 at 637 nm), which was associated with the higher fraction of organic aerosols (OA) available for BC coating at the regional station, as denoted by the higher organic carbon to elemental carbon (OC:EC) ratio observed at MSY compared to BCN. At both BCN and MSY, Eabs showed an exponential increase with the amount of non-refractory (NR) material available for coating (RNR-PM). The Eabs at 637 nm at the MSY regional station reached values up to 3 during episodes with high RNR-PM, whereas in BCN, Eabs kept values lower than 2 due to the lower relative amount of coating materials measured at BCN compared to MSY. The main sources of OA influencing Eabs throughout the year were hydrocarbon OA (HOA) and cooking-related OA (COA), i.e. primary OA (POA) from traffic and cooking emissions, respectively, at both 370 and 880 nm. At the short UV wavelength (370 nm), a strong contribution to Eabs from biomass burning OA (BBOA) and less oxidized oxygenated OA (LO-OOA) sources was observed in the colder period. Moreover, we found an increase of Eabs with the ageing state of the particles, especially during the colder period. This increase of Eabs with particle ageing was associated with a larger relative amount of secondary OA (SOA) compared to POA. The availability of a long dataset at both stations from offline measurements enabled a decade-long trend analysis of Eabs at 637 nm, that showed statistically significant (s.s.) positive trends of Eabs during the warmer months at the MSY station. This s.s. positive trend in MSY mirrored the observed increase of the OC:EC ratio over time. Moreover, in BCN during the COVID-19 lockdown period in spring 2020 we observed a sharp increase of Eabs due to the observed sharp increase of the OC:EC ratio. Our results show similar values of Eabs to those found in the literature for similar background stations.
Keywords: black carbomn, coating, organic aerosol, light absorption
Published in RUNG: 10.05.2024; Views: 154; Downloads: 2
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A European aerosol phenomenology - 7 : high-time resolution chemical characteristics of submicron particulate matter across Europe
M. Bressi, F. Cavalli, Jean-Philippe Putaud, R. Fröhlich, J. -E. Petit, W. Aas, M. Äijälä, A. Alastuey, J. D. Allan, M. Aurela, Iasonas Stavroulas, Marta Via, 2021, original scientific article

Abstract: Similarities and differences in the submicron atmospheric aerosol chemical composition are analyzed from a unique set of measurements performed at 21 sites across Europe for at least one year. These sites are located between 35 and 62°N and 10° W – 26°E, and represent various types of settings (remote, coastal, rural, industrial, urban). Measurements were all carried out on-line with a 30-min time resolution using mass spectroscopy based instruments known as Aerosol Chemical Speciation Monitors (ACSM) and Aerosol Mass Spectrometers (AMS) and following common measurement guidelines. Data regarding organics, sulfate, nitrate and ammonium concentrations, as well as the sum of them called non-refractory submicron aerosol mass concentration ([NR-PM1]) are discussed. NR-PM1 concentrations generally increase from remote to urban sites. They are mostly larger in the mid-latitude band than in southern and northern Europe. On average, organics account for the major part (36–64%) of NR-PM1 followed by sulfate (12–44%) and nitrate (6–35%). The annual mean chemical composition of NR-PM1 at rural (or regional background) sites and urban background sites are very similar. Considering rural and regional background sites only, nitrate contribution is higher and sulfate contribution is lower in mid-latitude Europe compared to northern and southern Europe. Large seasonal variations in concentrations (μg/m³) of one or more components of NR-PM1 can be observed at all sites, as well as in the chemical composition of NR-PM1 (%) at most sites. Significant diel cycles in the contribution to [NR-PM1] of organics, sulfate, and nitrate can be observed at a majority of sites both in winter and summer. Early morning minima in organics in concomitance with maxima in nitrate are common features at regional and urban background sites. Daily variations are much smaller at a number of coastal and rural sites. Looking at NR-PM1 chemical composition as a function of NR-PM1 mass concentration reveals that although organics account for the major fraction of NR-PM1 at all concentration levels at most sites, nitrate contribution generally increases with NR-PM1 mass concentration and predominates when NR-PM1 mass concentrations exceed 40 μg/m³ at half of the sites.
Keywords: aerosol, chemical composition, mass spectrometry, phenomenology
Published in RUNG: 10.05.2024; Views: 145; Downloads: 2
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Rolling vs. seasonal PMF : real-world multi-site and synthetic dataset comparison
Marta Via, Gang Chen, Francesco Canonaco, Kaspar Rudolf Daellenbach, Benjamin Chazeau, Hasna Chebaicheb, Jianhui Jiang, Hannes Keernik, Chunshui Lin, Nicolas Marchand, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: Abstract. Particulate matter (PM) has become a major concern in terms of human health and climate impact. In particular, the source apportionment (SA) of organic aerosols (OA) present in submicron particles (PM1) has gained relevance as an atmospheric research field due to the diversity and complexity of its primary sources and secondary formation processes. Moreover, relatively simple but robust instruments such as the Aerosol Chemical Speciation Monitor (ACSM) are now widely available for the near-real-time online determination of the composition of the non-refractory PM1. One of the most used tools for SA purposes is the source-receptor positive matrix factorisation (PMF) model. Even though the recently developed rolling PMF technique has already been used for OA SA on ACSM datasets, no study has assessed its added value compared to the more common seasonal PMF method using a practical approach yet. In this paper, both techniques were applied to a synthetic dataset and to nine European ACSM datasets in order to spot the main output discrepancies between methods. The main advantage of the synthetic dataset approach was that the methods' outputs could be compared to the expected “true” values, i.e. the original synthetic dataset values. This approach revealed similar apportionment results amongst methods, although the rolling PMF profile's adaptability feature proved to be advantageous, as it generated output profiles that moved nearer to the truth points. Nevertheless, these results highlighted the impact of the profile anchor on the solution, as the use of a different anchor with respect to the truth led to significantly different results in both methods. In the multi-site study, while differences were generally not significant when considering year-long periods, their importance grew towards shorter time spans, as in intra-month or intra-day cycles. As far as correlation with external measurements is concerned, rolling PMF performed better than seasonal PMF globally for the ambient datasets investigated here, especially in periods between seasons. The results of this multi-site comparison coincide with the synthetic dataset in terms of rolling–seasonal similarity and rolling PMF reporting moderate improvements. Altogether, the results of this study provide solid evidence of the robustness of both methods and of the overall efficiency of the recently proposed rolling PMF approach.
Keywords: particulate matter, synthetic dataset comparison, source apportionment, organic aerosols
Published in RUNG: 10.05.2024; Views: 149; Downloads: 4
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Increase in secondary organic aerosol in an urban environment : Increase in secondary organic aerosol in an urban environment
Marta Via, Maria Cruz Minguillon, Cristina Reche, Xavier Querol, Andrés Alastuey, 2021, original scientific article

Abstract: The evolution of fine aerosol (PM1) species as well as the contribution of potential sources to the total organic aerosol (OA) at an urban background site in Barcelona, in the western Mediterranean basin (WMB) was investigated. For this purpose, a quadrupole aerosol chemical speciation monitor (Q-ACSM) was deployed to acquire real-time measurements for two 1-year periods: May 2014–May 2015 (period A) and September 2017–October 2018 (period B). Total PM1 concentrations showed a slight decrease (from 10.1 to 9.6 μgm�3 from A to B), although the relative contribution of inorganic and organic compounds varied significantly. Regarding inorganic compounds, SO42- , black carbon(BC) and NH4+ showed a significant decrease from period A to B (21 %, 18% and 9 %, respectively), whilst NO3- concentrations were higher in B (8 %). Source apportionment revealed OA contained 46% and 70% secondary OA (SOA) in periods A and B, respectively. Two secondary oxygenated OA sources (OOA) were differentiated by their oxidation status (i.e. ageing): less oxidized (LO-OOA) and more oxidized (MO-OOA). Disregarding winter periods, when LO-OOA production was not favoured, LO-OOA transformation into MO-OOA was found to be more effective in period B. The lowest LO-OOA-to-MO-OOA ratio, excluding winter, was in September–October 2018 (0.65), implying an accumulation of aged OA after the high temperature and solar radiation conditions in the summer season. In addition to temperature, SOA (sum of OOA factors) was enhanced by exposure to NOx-polluted ambient and other pollutants, especially to O3 and during afternoon hours. The anthropogenic primary OA sources identified, cooking-related OA (COA), hydrocarbon-like OA (HOA), and biomass burning OA (BBOA), decreased from period A to B in both absolute concentrations and relative contribution (as a whole, 44% and 30 %, respectively). However, their concentrations and proportion to OA grew rapidly during highly polluted episodes. The influence of certain atmospheric episodes on OA sources was also assessed. Both SOA factors were boosted with long- and medium-range circulations, especially those coming from inland Europe and the Mediterranean (triggering mainly MO-OOA) and summer breeze-driven regional circulation (mainly LO-OOA). In contrast, POA was enhanced either during air-renewal episodes or stagnation anticyclonic events.
Keywords: aerosol, organic aerosol, source apportionment, PM1, particulate matter
Published in RUNG: 10.05.2024; Views: 160; Downloads: 3
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Ultrahigh-Energy multi-messengers at the Pierre Auger Observatory
Francisco Pedreira, Andrej Filipčič, Gašper Kukec Mezec, Ahmed Saleh, Samo Stanič, Marta Trini, Serguei Vorobiov, Lili Yang, Danilo Zavrtanik, Marko Zavrtanik, Lukas Zehrer, 2019, published scientific conference contribution

Abstract: The study of correlations between observations of different messengers from extreme sources of the Universe has emerged as an outstanding way to make progress in astrophysics. The Pierre Auger Observatory is capable of significant contributions as an ultra-high energy particle detector, particularly through its capability to search for inclined showers produced by neutrinos. We describe the neutrino searches made with the Observatory with particular emphasis on the recent results following the detections of gravitational waves from binary mergers with Advanced LIGO and VIRGO, leading to competitive limits.
Keywords: ultra-high-energy (UHE) cosmic rays (CRs), Pierre Auger Observatory, UHE neutrinos, multi-messenger astrophysics
Published in RUNG: 11.10.2023; Views: 994; Downloads: 5
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