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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-352
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-352
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 24 May 2019

Submitted as: research article | 24 May 2019

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

Investigating size-segregated sources of elemental composition of particulate matter in the South China Sea during the 2011 Vasco Cruise

Miguel Ricardo A. Hilario1, Melliza T. Cruz2, Maria Obiminda L. Cambaliza1,2, Jeffrey S. Reid3, Peng Xian3, James B. Simpas1,2, Nofel D. Lagrosas1,2, Sherdon Niño Y. Uy2, Steve Cliff4, and Yongjing Zhao4 Miguel Ricardo A. Hilario et al.
  • 1Department of Physics, Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City, Philippines
  • 2Manila Observatory, Ateneo de Manila University campus, Quezon City, Philippines
  • 3Marine Meteorology Division, Naval Research Laboratory, Monterey, CA, USA
  • 4Air Quality Research Center, University of California Davis, CA, USA

Abstract. The South China Sea/West Philippine Sea (SCS/WPS) is a receptor of various natural and anthropogenic aerosol species from throughout greater Asia. In combination with its archipelagic/peninsular terrain and strong Asian monsoon climate, the SCS/WPS hosts one of the most complex aerosol-meteorological systems in the world. However, aside from the well-known biomass burning emissions from Indonesia and Borneo, the current understanding of aerosol sources is limited-especially in remote marine environments. In September 2011, a 2-week research cruise was conducted near Palawan, Philippines to sample the remote SCS/WPS environment. Size-segregated aerosol data was collected using a Davis Rotating-drum Unit size-cut Monitor sampler and analyzed for concentrations of 28 selected elements. Positive Matrix Factorization (PMF) was performed separately on the coarse, fine, and ultrafine size ranges to determine possible sources and their contributions to the total particulate matter mass. Additionally, size distribution plots, time series plots, back trajectories and satellite data were used in interpreting factors. Using tracers of various sources, a linear regression analysis and correlation matrices showed the presence of soil dust and sea spray in the coarse mode, biomass burning in the fine mode and oil combustion in the ultrafine mode. Mass distributions showed elevated aerosol concentrations towards the end of the sampling period which coincided with a shift of air mass back trajectories to Southern Kalimantan. Covariance between coarse and fine mode sources were observed. The PMF analysis resolved five sources across the three size ranges: biomass burning, oil combustion, soil dust, sea spray and a fly ash factor largely composed of heavy metals. The agreement between the PMF and the linear regression analyses suggests the robustness of the PMF solution. While biomass burning is indeed a key source of aerosol, the study shows the presence of other important sources in the SCS/WPS. Understanding these sources is key to characterizing the chemical profile of the SCS/WPS and, by extension, developing our understanding of aerosol-cloud behavior in the region.

Miguel Ricardo A. Hilario et al.
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Miguel Ricardo A. Hilario et al.
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The article apportions size-resolved aerosol contributions from the South China Sea during the Vasco research cruise in September 2011. As aerosols can affect precipitation rates and cloud formation, identifying sources is key to characterizing the region and developing our understanding of aerosol-cloud behavior. A strong biomass burning signal was identified using elemental particulate matter in the fine and ultrafine size ranges. Oil combustion, soil dust, and sea spray were also identified.
The article apportions size-resolved aerosol contributions from the South China Sea during the...
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