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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-101
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-101
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 12 Feb 2019

Research article | 12 Feb 2019

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

Model-Measurement Consistency and Limits of Bioaerosol Abundance Over the Continental United States

Maria A. Zawadowicz1,a, Karl D. Froyd2,3, Anne E. Perring2,3,b, Daniel M. Murphy2, Dominick V. Spracklen4, Colette L. Heald1,5, Peter R. Buseck6, and Daniel J. Cziczo1,5,7 Maria A. Zawadowicz et al.
  • 1Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA
  • 2Chemical Sciences Division, NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory, Boulder, CO, USA
  • 3Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Science, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA
  • 4School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK
  • 5Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA
  • 6School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA
  • 7Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA
  • acurrently at: Atmospheric Sciences and Global Change Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA, USA
  • bcurrently at: Department of Chemistry, Colgate University, 13 Oak Dr., Hamilton, NY 13346, USA

Abstract. Due to low concentrations and chemical complexity, in-situ observations of bioaerosol are geographically and temporally sparse, and this limits the accuracy of current emissions inventories. In this study, we apply a new methodology, including corrections for misidentification of mineral dust, to measurements of single particles over four airborne sampling campaigns to derive vertical profiles of bioaerosol over the continental United States. The new methodology is based on single particle mass spectrometry (SPMS), and it can extend historic datasets to include measurements of bioaerosol, allows for comparison to other techniques, and generally agrees with a global aerosol model. In the locations sampled, bioaerosols were at least a factor of 10 less abundant than mineral dust. Below 2 km, bioaerosol concentrations were measured between 6 × 103 m−3 and 2 × 104 m−3. Between 2 km and 8 km, bioaerosol concentrations were between 0 and 2 × 104 m−3, and Above 8 km, bioaerosol concentrations were between 0 and 1 × 103 m−3. Between 30 % and 80 % of single bioaerosol particles detected were internally mixed with dust. A direct comparison of the SPMS methodology with a co-located WIBS fluorescence sensor on a mountaintop site showed agreement to within a factor of 3 over the common size range.

Maria A. Zawadowicz et al.
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Maria A. Zawadowicz et al.
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In our paper, we report measurements of small particles of biological origin (for example, fragments of bacteria, pollen or fungal spores) in the atmosphere over the continental United States. We use a recently-developed identification technique based on airborne mass spectrometry in conjunction with an extensive aircraft dataset. We show that biological particles are present at altitudes up to 10 km and we quantify typical concentrations.
In our paper, we report measurements of small particles of biological origin (for example,...
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