Photochemical processing of organic aerosol at nearby continental sites: contrast between urban plumes and regional aerosol
1Department of Chemistry, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
2Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
3Southern Ontario Centre for Atmospheric Aerosol Research, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
4Science and Technology Branch, Environment Canada, Toronto, Canada
Abstract. As part of the BAQS-Met 2007 field campaign, Aerodyne time-of-flight aerosol mass spectrometers (ToF-AMS) were deployed at two sites in southwestern Ontario from 17 June to 11 July, 2007. One instrument was located at Harrow, ON, a rural, agriculture-dominated area approximately 40 km southeast of the Detroit/Windsor/Windsor urban area and 5 km north of Lake Erie. The second instrument was located at Bear Creek, ON, a rural site approximately 70 km northeast of the Harrow site and 50 km east of Detroit/Windsor. Positive matrix factorization analysis of the combined organic mass spectral dataset yields factors related to secondary organic aerosol (SOA), direct emissions, and uptake processes. This is the first application of PMF to simultaneous AMS measurements at different sites, an approach which allows for self-consistent, direct comparison of the datasets. Case studies are utilized to investigate processing of SOA from (1) fresh emissions from Detroit/Windsor and (2) regional aerosol during periods of inter-site flow. A strong correlation is observed between SOA/excess CO and photochemical age as represented by the NOx/NOy ratio for Detroit/Windsor outflow. Although this correlation is not evident for more aged air, measurements at the two sites during inter-site transport nevertheless show evidence of continued atmospheric processing by SOA production.