Optical properties, morphology and elemental chemical composition of atmospheric particles at T1 supersite on MILAGRO campaign
1Centro de Ciencias de la Atmósfera, UNAM, México
2Centro de Investigaciones de Materiales Avanzados, Chihuahua, México
Abstract. Atmospheric particles were sampled at T1 supersite (19°43' N latitude, 98°58' W longitude, and 2340 m above sea level) during MILAGRO campaign. T1 was located at the north of Mexico City Metropolitan Area (MCMA). Aerosol sampling was done by placing transmission electron microscope (TEM) copper grids on the last 5 stages of an 8-stage MOUDI cascade impactor (d50 = 1.8, 1.0, 0.56, 0.32, and 0.18 μm). Samples were obtained at morning (06:00–09:00), noon (11:00–14:00), afternoon (16:00–19:00) and evening (21:00–24:00) local time. Absorption and scattering coefficients, and particles concentration (0.01–3 μm aerodynamic diameter) were measured simultaneously using a PASP absorption photometer (operated at 550 nm), a portable integrating nephelometer (at 530 nm) and a CNI particle counter. TEM images of particles were acquired at different magnifications using a CM 200 Phillips TEM-EDAX system.
The morphology of atmospheric particles for two aerodynamic diameters (0.18 and 1.8 μm) was compared using border-based fractal dimension. Particles sampled under Mexico City pollution influence showed not much variability, suggesting the presence of more compact particles in smaller sizes (d50 = 1.8 μm) at the site. The presence of higher numbers of compact particles can be attributed to aerosol aging and secondary aerosol formation, among others. Under early morning conditions, smaller particles (d50 = 0.18 μm) had more irregular features resulting in a higher average fractal dimension. Energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) was used to determine the elemental composition of particles. EDS analysis in particles with d50 = 0.18 μm showed a higher content of carbonaceous material and relevant amounts of Si, Fe, K, and Co. This may indicate an impact from industrial and vehicle's emissions on atmospheric particles.