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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
06 Jun 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).
Particulate trimethylamine in the summertime Canadian high Arctic lower troposphere
Franziska Köllner1,2, Johannes Schneider1, Megan D. Willis3, Thomas Klimach1, Frank Helleis1, Heiko Bozem2, Daniel Kunkel2, Peter Hoor2, Julia Burkart3, W. Richard Leaitch4, Amir A. Aliabadi4,a, Jonathan P. D. Abbatt3, Andreas B. Herber5, and Stephan Borrmann1,2 1Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Mainz, Germany
2Institute for Atmospheric Physics, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany
3Department of Chemistry, University of Toronto, Canada
4Environment Canada, Toronto, Canada
5Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven, Germany
anow at: Environmental Engineering Program, University of Guelph, Guelph, Canada
Abstract. Size-resolved and vertical profile measurements of single particle chemical composition (sampling altitude range 50–3000 m) were conducted in July 2014 in the Canadian high Arctic during the aircraft-based measurement campaign NETCARE 2014. We deployed the single particle laser ablation aerosol mass spectrometer ALABAMA (vacuum aerodynamic diameter range approximately 200–1000 nm) to identify different particle types and their mixing states. On basis of the single particle analysis, we found that a significant fraction (23 %) of all analyzed particles (in total: 7412) contained trimethylamine (TMA). The identification of TMA in ambient mass spectra was confirmed by laboratory measurements. From the maximum occurrence of particulate TMA in the Arctic boundary layer and the higher abundance of smaller TMA-containing particles (maximum in the size distribution at 300 nm), we conclude that the TMA component of these particles resulted from emissions within the Arctic boundary layer. Air mass history according to FLEXPART backward simulations and associated wind data give evidence of a marine-biogenic influence on particulate TMA. The marine influence on particle chemical composition in the summertime Arctic is further demonstrated by the existence of larger sodium and chloride (Na/Cl-) containing particles which are mainly abundant in the boundary layer. Some of these sea spray particles were internally mixed with carbohydrates (e.g., cellulose) which likely originated from a sea surface microlayer enriched with microorganisms and organic compounds. The external mix of sea spray particles and TMA-containing particles suggests the latter result from secondary conversion of precursor gases from marine inner-Arctic sources. In contrast to TMA- and Na/Cl-containing aerosol types, particles with biomass-burning markers (such as levoglucosan) showed a higher fraction at higher altitudes, thereby indicating long-range transport as their source. Our measurements highlight the importance of natural, marine inner-Arctic sources for summertime Arctic aerosol.

Citation: Köllner, F., Schneider, J., Willis, M. D., Klimach, T., Helleis, F., Bozem, H., Kunkel, D., Hoor, P., Burkart, J., Leaitch, W. R., Aliabadi, A. A., Abbatt, J. P. D., Herber, A. B., and Borrmann, S.: Particulate trimethylamine in the summertime Canadian high Arctic lower troposphere, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss.,, in review, 2017.
Franziska Köllner et al.
Franziska Köllner et al.
Franziska Köllner et al.


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Short summary
We conducted aircraft-based single particle chemical composition measurements in the Canadian High Arctic during summer. Our results provide evidence for a marine-biogenic influence on secondary formation of particulate trimethylamine in the Arctic boundary layer. Understanding emission sources and further processes controlling aerosol number concentration and chemical composition in the pristine Arctic summer are crucial to model future climate in the area.
We conducted aircraft-based single particle chemical composition measurements in the Canadian...