Sources of optically active aerosol particles over the Amazon forest

Guyon, P, Graham B, Roberts GC, Mayol-Bracero OL, Maenhaut W, Artaxo P, Andreae MO.  2004.  Sources of optically active aerosol particles over the Amazon forest. Atmospheric Environment. 38:1039-1051.

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absorption, aerosol, aerosol absorption, Amazonia, atmospheric aerosols, basin, biomass burning, black carbon, brazil, carbon, long-range transport, natural background aerosols, pacific, scattering, season, smoke, source apportionment, wet


Size-fractionated ambient aerosol samples were collected at a pasture site and a primary rainforest site in the Brazilian Amazon Basin during two field campaigns (April-May and September-October 1999), as part of the European contribution to the Large-Scale Biosphere-Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia (LBA-EUSTACH). The samples were analyzed for up to 19 trace elements by particle-induced X-ray emission analysis (PIXE), for equivalent black carbon (BCe) by a light reflectance technique and for mass concentration by gravimetric analysis. Additionally, we made continuous measurements of absorption and light scattering by aerosol particles. The vertical chemical composition gradients at the forest site have been discussed in a companion article (Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres 108 (1318), 4591 (doi:4510.1029/2003JD003465)). In this article, we present the results of a source identification and quantitative apportionment study of the wet and dry season aerosols, including an apportionment of the measured scattering and absorption properties of the total aerosol in terms of the identified aerosol sources. Source apportionments (obtained from absolute principal component analysis) revealed that the wet and dry season aerosols contained the same three main components, but in different (absolute and relative) amounts: the wet season aerosol consisted mainly of a natural biogenic component, whereas pyrogenic aerosols dominated the dry season aerosol mass. The third component identified was soil dust, which was often internally mixed with the biomass-burning aerosol. All three components contributed significantly to light extinction during both seasons. At the pasture site, up to 47% of the light absorption was attributed to biogenic particles during the wet season, and up to 35% at the tower site during the wet-to-dry transition period. The results from the present study suggest that, in addition to pyrogenic particles, biogenic and soil dust aerosols must be taken into account when modeling the physical and optical properties of aerosols in forested regions such the Amazon Basin. (C) 2003 Published by Elsevier Ltd.