Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 10, 13407-13443, 2010
© Author(s) 2010. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
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This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in ACP.
Characterizing aerosol transport into the Canadian High Arctic using aerosol mass spectrometry and Lagrangian modelling
T. Kuhn1, R. Damoah2, A. Bacak3, and J. J. Sloan2
1Department of Space Science, Luleå University of Technology, Kiruna, Sweden
2Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1, Canada
3School of Earth, Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, The University of Manchester, Williamson Building, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PL, UK

Abstract. We report the analysis of measurements made using an aerosol mass spectrometer (AMS; Aerodyne Research Inc.) that was installed in the Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory (PEARL) in summer 2006. PEARL is located in the Canadian high Arctic at 610 m above sea level on Ellesmere Island (80° N 86° W). PEARL is unique for its remote location in the Arctic and because most of the time it is situated within the free troposphere. It is therefore well suited as a receptor site to study the long range tropospheric transport of pollutants into the Arctic. Some information about the successful year-round operation of an AMS at a high Arctic site such as PEARL will be reported here, together with design considerations for reliable sampling under harsh low-temperature conditions. Computational fluid dynamics calculations were made to ensure that sample integrity was maintained while sampling air at temperatures that average −40 °C in the winter and can be as low as −55 °C. Selected AMS measurements of aerosol mass concentration, size, and chemical composition recorded during the months of August, September and October 2006 will be reported. During this period, sulfate was at most times the predominant aerosol component with on average 0.115 μg m−3 (detection limit 0.003 μg m−3). The second most abundant component was undifferentiated organic aerosol, with on average 0.11 μg m−3 detection limit (0.04 μg m−3). The nitrate component, which averaged 0.007 μg m−3, was above its detection limit (0.002 μg m−3), whereas the ammonium ion had an apparent average concentration of 0.02 μg m−3, which was approximately equal to its detection limit. A few episodes having increased mass concentrations and lasting from several hours to several days are apparent in the data. These were investigated further using a statistical analysis to determine their common characteristics. High correlations among some of the components arriving during the short term episodes provide evidence for common sources. Lagrangian methods were also used to identify the source regions for some of the episodes. These showed that the source regions for the two selected episodes were located in north-eastern North America and western Siberia. We believe the former is associated with sulfate emissions from motor vehicles, power plants and heavy industry. The latter coincides with the locations of the largest Russian oil and gas fields. These conclusions show that the Arctic is the destination for significant amounts of pollution from high- and mid-latitude industrial and resource activity.

Citation: Kuhn, T., Damoah, R., Bacak, A., and Sloan, J. J.: Characterizing aerosol transport into the Canadian High Arctic using aerosol mass spectrometry and Lagrangian modelling, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 10, 13407-13443, doi:10.5194/acpd-10-13407-2010, 2010.
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