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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2017-1031
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
13 Nov 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).
Chemical characterization of long-range transport biomass burning emissions to the Himalayas: insights from high-resolution aerosol mass spectrometry
Xinghua Zhang1,2,3, Jianzhong Xu1, Shichang Kang1, Yanmei Liu1,3, and Qi Zhang4 1State Key Laboratory of Cryospheric Sciences, Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China
2Key Laboratory of Arid Climatic Change and Reducing Disaster of Gansu Province, Key Laboratory of Arid Climatic Change and Disaster Reduction of CMA, Institute of Arid Meteorology, China Meteorological Administration, Lanzhou 730020, China
3University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
4Department of Environmental Toxicology, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA
Abstract. An intensive measurement was conducted at a remote, background, and high-altitude site (Qomolangma station, QOMS, 4276 m a.s.l.) in the northern Himalayas, using an Aerodyne high-resolution time-of-flight aerosol mass spectrometer (HR-ToF-AMS) along with other collocated instruments. The field measurement was performed from April 12 to May 12, 2016 to chemically characterize the high time-resolved submicron particulate matter (PM1) and obtain the dynamic processes (emissions, transport, and chemical processing) of biomass burning (BB), frequently transported from South Asia to the Himalayas during pre-monsoon season. Overall, the average (±1σ) PM1 mass concentration was 4.44 (±4.54) µg m−3 for the entire study, comparable with those observed at other remote sites worldwide. Organic aerosol (OA) was the dominant PM1 species (accounting for 54.3 % of total PM1 on average) followed by black carbon (BC) (25.0 %), sulfate (9.3 %), ammonium (5.8 %), nitrate (5.1 %), and chloride (0.4 %). The average size distributions of PM1 species all peaked at an overlapping accumulation mode (~ 500 nm), suggesting that aerosol particles were internally well-mixed and aged during long-range transportation. Positive matrix factorization (PMF) analysis on the high-resolution organic mass spectra identified three distinct OA factors, including a BB-related OA (BBOA, 43.7 %), a nitrogen-containing OA (NOA, 13.9 %) and a more-oxidized oxygenated OA (MO-OOA, 42.4 %). Two polluted episodes with enhanced PM1 mass loadings and elevated BBOA contributions from the west and southwest of QOMS during the study were observed. A typical BB plume was investigated in detail to illustrate the chemical evolution of aerosol, air mass origins, meteorological conditions and atmospheric oxidation processes.

Citation: Zhang, X., Xu, J., Kang, S., Liu, Y., and Zhang, Q.: Chemical characterization of long-range transport biomass burning emissions to the Himalayas: insights from high-resolution aerosol mass spectrometry, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2017-1031, in review, 2017.
Xinghua Zhang et al.
Xinghua Zhang et al.
Xinghua Zhang et al.

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Short summary
Highly time- and chemically resolved submicron aerosol properties were characterized online for the first time in a high-altitude site (Qomolangma station, 4276 m a.s.l.) in the northern Himalayas by using the Aerodyne HR-ToF-AMS. Biomass burning plumes were frequently observed and the dynamic processes (emissions, transport, and chemical processing) were characterized. The source and chemical composition of organic aerosol were further elucidated using Positive matrix factorization analysis.
Highly time- and chemically resolved submicron aerosol properties were characterized online for...
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