Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 13, 2155-2177, 2013
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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.
Source attribution of light-absorbing impurities in seasonal snow across northern China
R. Zhang1, D. A. Hegg2, J. Huang1, and Q. Fu1,2
1Key Laboratory for Semi-Arid Climate Change of the Ministry of Education, College of Atmospheric Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, Gansu, China
2Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Box 351640, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA

Abstract. Seasonal snow samples obtained at 46 sites in 6 provinces of China in January and February 2010 were analyzed for a suite of chemical species and these data are combined with previously determined concentrations of light-absorbing impurities (LAI), including all particles that absorb light in the 650–700 nm wavelength interval. The LAI, together with 14 other analytes, are used as input to a positive matrix factorization (PMF) receptor model to explore the sources of the LAI in the snow. The PMF analysis for the LAI sources is augmented with backward trajectory cluster analysis and the geographic locations of major source areas for the three source types. The two analyses are consistent and indicate that three factors/sources were responsible for the measured snow light absorption: a soil dust source, an industrial pollution source, and a biomass and biofuels burning source. Soil dust was the main source of the LAI, accounting for ~ 53% of the LAI on average.

Citation: Zhang, R., Hegg, D. A., Huang, J., and Fu, Q.: Source attribution of light-absorbing impurities in seasonal snow across northern China, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 13, 2155-2177, doi:10.5194/acpd-13-2155-2013, 2013.
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