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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 4, issue 6
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 4, 1275–1289, 2011
© Author(s) 2011. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 4, 1275–1289, 2011
© Author(s) 2011. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 29 Jun 2011

Research article | 29 Jun 2011

Eddy covariance measurements with high-resolution time-of-flight aerosol mass spectrometry: a new approach to chemically resolved aerosol fluxes

D. K. Farmer1, J. R. Kimmel1,2,3, G. Phillips4, K. S. Docherty1, D. R. Worsnop2, D. Sueper1,2, E. Nemitz4, and J. L. Jimenez1 D. K. Farmer et al.
  • 1CIRES and Dept. of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Colorado-Boulder, Boulder, CO, USA
  • 2Aerodyne Research, Inc., Billerica, MA, USA
  • 3Tofwerk AG, Thun, Switzerland
  • 4Center for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH), Edinburgh, Penicuik, UK

Abstract. Although laboratory studies show that biogenic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) yield substantial secondary organic aerosol (SOA), production of biogenic SOA as indicated by upward fluxes has not been conclusively observed over forests. Further, while aerosols are known to deposit to surfaces, few techniques exist to provide chemically-resolved particle deposition fluxes. To better constrain aerosol sources and sinks, we have developed a new technique to directly measure fluxes of chemically-resolved submicron aerosols using the high-resolution time-of-flight aerosol mass spectrometer (HR-AMS) in a new, fast eddy covariance mode. This approach takes advantage of the instrument's ability to quantitatively identify both organic and inorganic components, including ammonium, sulphate and nitrate, at a temporal resolution of several Hz. The new approach has been successfully deployed over a temperate ponderosa pine plantation in California during the BEARPEX-2007 campaign, providing both total and chemically resolved non-refractory (NR) PM1 fluxes. Average deposition velocities for total NR-PM1 aerosol at noon were 2.05 ± 0.04 mm s−1. Using a high resolution measurement of the NH2+ and NH3+ fragments, we demonstrate the first eddy covariance flux measurements of particulate ammonium, which show a noon-time deposition velocity of 1.9 ± 0.7 mm s−1 and are dominated by deposition of ammonium sulphate.

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