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Discussion papers
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 12 Mar 2019

Research article | 12 Mar 2019

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This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript is under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Summertime surface PM1 aerosol composition and size by source region at the Lampedusa island in the central Mediterranean Sea

Marc D. Mallet1,2,3, Barbara D'Anna2,4, Aurélie Même2,a, Maria Chiara Bove5,6, Federico Cassola5,b, Giandomenico Pace7, Karine Desboeufs1, Claudia Di Biagio1, Jean-Francois Doussin1, Michel Maille1, Dario Massabò5, Jean Sciare8, Pascal Zapf1, Alcide Giorgio di Sarra7, and Paola Formenti1 Marc D. Mallet et al.
  • 1LISA, CNRS UMR7583, Université Paris Est Créteil (UPEC), Université Paris Diderot (UPD), Institut Pierre Simon Laplace (IPSL), Créteil, France
  • 2IRCELYON, CNRS UMR5652, Univ. Lyon1, Lyon, France
  • 3Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES), Toulouse, France
  • 4LCE, CNRS UMR 7376, Aix-Marseille Université, Marseille, France
  • 5Department of Physics & INFN, University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy
  • 6ARPAL Physical Agents and Air Pollution Sector, La Spezia, Italy
  • 7Laboratory for Observations and Analyses of Earth and Climate, ENEA, Rome, Italy
  • 8The Cyprus Institute, Energy, Environment and Water Research Center, Nicosia, Cyprus
  • anow at: Bruker
  • bcurrently at: ARPAL CFMI-PC, Genoa, Italy

Abstract. Measurements of aerosol composition and size distributions were taken during the summer of 2013 at the remote island of Lampedusa in the southern central Mediterranean Sea. These measurements were part of the ChArMEx/ADRIMED (Chemistry and Aerosol Mediterranean Experiment/Aerosol Direct Radiative Forcing on the Mediterranean Climate) framework and took place during the Special Observation Period 1a (SOP-1a) from 11 June until 5 July 2013. From compact time-of-flight aerosol mass spectrometer (cToF-AMS) measurements in the size range below 1 μm in aerodynamic diameter (PM1), particles were predominately comprised of ammonium and sulphate. On average, ammonium sulphate contributed 63 % to the non-refractory PM1 mass, followed by organics (33 %). The organic aerosol was generally very highly oxidised (f44 values were typically between 0.25 and 0.26). The contribution of ammonium sulphate was generally higher than organic aerosol in comparison to measurements taken in the western Mediterranean but is consistent with studies undertaken in the eastern basin.

Source apportionment of organics using a statistical (positive matrix factorisation) model revealed four factors; a hydrocarbon-like organic aerosol (HOA), a methanesulfonic acid related oxygenated organic aerosol (MSA-OOA), a more oxidised oxygenated organic aerosol (MO-OOA) and a less oxidised oxygenated organic aerosol we label (LO-OOA). The MO-OOA was the dominant factor for most of the campaign (53 % of the PM1 OA mass). It was well correlated with SO42−, highly oxidised, and generally more dominant during easterly air masses originating from the eastern Mediterranean and central Europe. The LO-OOA factor had a very similar composition to the MO-OOA factor, but was more prevalent during westerly winds with air masses originating from the Atlantic Ocean, the western Mediterranean, and in high altitudes over France and Spain from mistral winds. The MSA-OOA factor contributed an average 12 % to the PM1 OA and was more dominant during the mistral winds. The HOA, representing observed primary organic aerosol only contributed 8 % of the average PM1 OA during the campaign.

Even though Lampedusa is one of the most remote sites in the Mediterranean, PM1 concentrations (10 ± 5 μg m−3) were comparable to those observed in coastal cities and sites closer to continental Europe. Cleaner conditions corresponded to higher wind speeds. Nucleation and growth of new aerosol particles was observed during periods of northwesterly winds. From a climatology analysis from 1999 until 2012, these periods were much more prevalent during the measurement campaign than during the preceding 13 years. These results support previous findings that highlight the importance of different large-scale synoptic conditions in determining the regional and local aerosol composition and oxidation and also suggest that a non-polluted surface atmosphere over the Mediterranean is rare.

Marc D. Mallet et al.
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Marc D. Mallet et al.
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Publications Copernicus
Short summary
We present findings from a summertime field campaign at the remote island of Lampedusa in the central Mediterranean Sea. We show that the aerosol loading is similar to coastal sites around the Mediterranean. We observe higher loadings of sulphate and aged organic aerosol from air masses transported over the central and eastern Mediterranean in comparison to those from the western Mediterranean. These results highlight the rarity of pristine air masses, even in remote marine environments.
We present findings from a summertime field campaign at the remote island of Lampedusa in the...