Characterization of aerosol and cloud water at a mountain site during WACS 2010: secondary organic aerosol formation through oxidative cloud processing
1Department of Chemistry, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
2Science and Technology Branch, Environment Canada, Downsview, Canada
3Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Arizona State University, Tempe, USA
Abstract. The water-soluble fractions of aerosol samples and cloud water collected during Whistler Aerosol and Cloud Study (WACS 2010) were analyzed using an Aerodyne aerosol mass spectrometer (AMS). This is the first study to report AMS organic spectra of re-aerosolized cloud water, and to make direct comparison between the AMS spectra of cloud water and aerosol samples collected at the same location. In general, the aerosol and cloud organic spectra were very similar, indicating that the cloud water organics likely originated from secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formed nearby. By using a photochemical reactor to oxidize both aerosol filter extracts and cloud water, we find evidence that fragmentation of aerosol water-soluble organics increases their volatility during oxidation. By contrast, enhancement of AMS-measurable organic mass by up to 30% was observed during aqueous-phase photochemical oxidation of cloud water organics. We propose that additional SOA material was produced by functionalizing dissolved organics via OH oxidation, where these dissolved organics are sufficiently volatile that they are not usually part of the aerosol. This work points out that water-soluble organic compounds of intermediate volatility (IVOC), such as cis-pinonic acid, produced via gas-phase oxidation of monoterpenes, can be important aqueous-phase SOA precursors in a biogenic-rich environment.