1School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, USA
2Deparment of Mechanical Engineering, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA
3Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Carleton University, Ottawa, ON, Canada
4School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, USA
5School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, USA
Abstract. We present the development of ANISORROPIA, the discrete adjoint of the ISORROPIA thermodynamic equilibrium model that treats the Na+-SO42−-HSO4−-NH4+-NO3−-Cl−-H2O aerosol system, and we demonstrate its sensitivity analysis capabilities. ANISORROPIA calculates sensitivities of an inorganic species in aerosol or gas phase with respect to the total concentrations of each species present with only a two-fold increase in computational time over the forward model execution. Due to the highly nonlinear and discontinuous solution surface of ISORROPIA, evaluation of the adjoint required a new, complex-variable version of the the model, which determines first-order sensitivities with machine precision and avoids cancellation errors arising from finite difference calculations. The adjoint is verified over an atmospherically relevant range of concentrations, temperature, and relative humidity. We apply ANISORROPIA to recent field campaign results from Atlanta, GA, USA, and Mexico City, Mexico, to characterize the inorganic aerosol sensitivities of these distinct urban air masses. The variability in the relationship between PM2.5 mass and precursor concentrations shown has important implications for air quality and climate. ANISORROPIA enables efficient elucidation of aerosol concentration dependence on aerosol precursor emissions in the context of atmospheric chemical transport model adjoints.