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Title: Submicrometer aerosols and excess CO as tracers for biomass burning air mass transport over southern Africa
Authors: Mafusire, Getrude 
Annegarn, Harold John 
Vakkari, Ville 
Beukes, Johan Paul 
Josipovic, Miroslav 
van Zyl, Pieter Gideon 
Laakso, Lauri 
Keywords: Submicrometer aerosols;Biomass burning aerosols;Southern Africa;Trace gas analyzer
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: American Geophysical Union
Abstract: This paper links surface measurements of biomass burning aerosols and trace gases with trajectory analysis to determine transport pathways for air masses with high and low concentrations. We interpret the long-term atmospheric monitoring record from a remote monitoring station in central southern Africa (North West Province, South Africa). Trace gas analyzers and a Differential Mobility Particle Sizer were used to measure ground level trace gas and submicron aerosol concentrations. Fire signatures were identified based on excess CO above average tropospheric levels, and episodes of enhanced particulate matter concentrations in the 10 to 840 nm size range. Thirty-six biomass burning plumes were reported; 7 had strong signals of excess CO, with ratios between 0.41 and 0.64, while 29 had weak signals ranging between 0.07 and 0.32. Pathways identified for the long-range transport of biomass burning aerosols were as follows: easterly (39% frequency), southwesterly (31%), recirculation (22%), and northerly (8%) flow patterns. CO and Aitken-mode aerosol number strengths were larger for fire emissions arriving in the easterly and southwesterly air masses than for recirculation and northerly air masses. Easterly and southwesterly flows were dominated by Aitken-mode aerosol, whereas accumulation-mode particles dominated in the recirculation and northerly flows. Findings identify biomass burning as a major source of Aitken-mode aerosols. Enhanced CO concentrations, combined with Aitken- and accumulation-mode particle number size distributions, are shown to provide a useful signature of plumes originating over regional biomass combustion events.
URI: 10.1002/2015JD023965
Appears in Collections:Eng - Journal articles (DHET subsidised)

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