Journal cover Journal topic
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Journal topic

Journal metrics

Journal metrics

  • IF value: 5.509 IF 5.509
  • IF 5-year value: 5.689 IF 5-year 5.689
  • CiteScore value: 5.44 CiteScore 5.44
  • SNIP value: 1.519 SNIP 1.519
  • SJR value: 3.032 SJR 3.032
  • IPP value: 5.37 IPP 5.37
  • h5-index value: 86 h5-index 86
  • Scimago H index value: 161 Scimago H index 161
Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-802
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-802
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 13 Aug 2018

Research article | 13 Aug 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Positive Matrix Factorization of Organic Aerosol: Insights from a Chemical Transport Model

Anthoula D. Drosatou1,2, Ksakousti Skyllakou2, Georgia N. Theodoritsi1,2, and Spyros N. Pandis1,2,3 Anthoula D. Drosatou et al.
  • 1Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Patras, Patras, Greece
  • 2Institute of Chemical Engineering Sciences, Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas (FORTH/ICE-HT), Patras, Greece
  • 3Department of Chemical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA

Abstract. Factor analysis of Aerosol Mass Spectrometer measurements (organic aerosol mass spectra) is often used to determine the sources of organic aerosol (OA). In this study we aim to gain insights regarding the ability of positive matrix factorization (PMF) to identify and quantify the OA sources accurately. We performed PMF and multilinear engine (ME-2) analysis on the predictions of a state-of-the-art chemical transport model (PMCAMx-SR) during a photochemically active period for specific sites in Europe in an effort to interpret the diverse factors usually identified by PMF analysis of field measurements. Our analysis used the predicted concentrations of 27 OA components, assuming that each of them is chemically different from the others.

The PMF results based on the chemical transport model predictions are quite consistent (same number of factors and source types) with those of the analysis of AMS measurements. The estimated uncertainty of the contribution of fresh biomass burning is less than 30% and of the other primary sources less than 40%, when these sources contribute more than 20% to the total OA. For contributions between 10 and 20% the corresponding uncertainties increase to 50%. Finally, when these sources are small (less than 10% of the OA) the corresponding error is a factor of two or even three.

One of the major questions in PMF analysis of AMS measurements concerns the sources of the two or more oxygenated OA (OOA) factors often reported in field studies. Our analysis suggests that these factors include secondary OA compounds from a variety of anthropogenic and biogenic sources and do not correspond to specific sources. Their characterization in the literature as low and high volatility factors is probably misleading, because they have overlapping volatility distributions. However, the average volatility of the one often characterized as low-volatility factor is indeed lower than that of the other (high volatility factor). Based on the analysis of the PMCAMx-SR predictions, the first oxygenated OA factor includes mainly highly-aged OA transported from outside Europe, but also highly aged secondary OA from precursors emitted in Europe. The second oxygenated OA factor contains fresher SOA from volatile, semi-volatile, and intermediate volatility anthropogenic and biogenic organic compounds. The exact contribution of these OA components to each OA factor depends on the site and the prevailing meteorology during the analysis period.

Anthoula D. Drosatou et al.
Interactive discussion
Status: final response (author comments only)
Status: final response (author comments only)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
[Login for Authors/Co-Editors] [Subscribe to comment alert] Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version Supplement - Supplement
Anthoula D. Drosatou et al.
Anthoula D. Drosatou et al.
Viewed  
Total article views: 417 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)
HTML PDF XML Total Supplement BibTeX EndNote
311 101 5 417 24 4 5
  • HTML: 311
  • PDF: 101
  • XML: 5
  • Total: 417
  • Supplement: 24
  • BibTeX: 4
  • EndNote: 5
Views and downloads (calculated since 13 Aug 2018)
Cumulative views and downloads (calculated since 13 Aug 2018)
Viewed (geographical distribution)  
Total article views: 417 (including HTML, PDF, and XML) Thereof 413 with geography defined and 4 with unknown origin.
Country # Views %
  • 1
1
 
 
 
 
Cited  
Saved  
No saved metrics found.
Discussed  
No discussed metrics found.
Latest update: 20 Nov 2018
Publications Copernicus
Download
Short summary
The ability of positive matrix factorization (PMF) Factor analysis to identify and quantify the organic aerosol (OA) sources accurately is tested in this modeling study. The estimated uncertainty of the contribution of fresh biomass burning is less than 30 % and of the other primary sources less than 40 %, when these sources contribute more than 20 % to the OA. Τhe first oxygenated OA factor includes mainly highly-aged OA, while the second oxygenated OA factor contains fresher secondary OA.
The ability of positive matrix factorization (PMF) Factor analysis to identify and quantify the...
Citation
Share