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Regional Influence of Aerosol Emissions from Wildfires Driven by Combustion...

Collier, S., S. Zhou, T. B. Onasch, D. Jaffe, L. Kleinman, D. Worsnop, R. Yokelson, C. Parworth, X. Ge, J. Xu, Z. Butterfield, ○. D. Chand, M. K. Dubey, ○. M. S. Pekour, S. Springston, and Q. Zhang (2016), Regional Influence of Aerosol Emissions from Wildfires Driven by Combustion Efficiency: Insights from the BBOP Campaign, Environ. Sci. Technol., 50, 8613-8622, doi:10.1021/acs.est.6b01617.

Wildfires are important contributors to atmospheric aerosols and a large source of emissions that impact regional air quality and global climate. In this study, the regional and nearfield influences of wildfire emissions on ambient aerosol concentration and chemical properties in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States were studied using real-time measurements from a fixed ground site located in Central Oregon at the Mt. Bachelor Observatory (∼2700 m a.s.l.) as well as near their sources using an aircraft. The regional characteristics of biomass burning aerosols were found to depend strongly on the modified combustion efficiency (MCE), an index of the combustion processes of a fire. Organic aerosol emissions had negative correlations with MCE, whereas the oxidation state of organic aerosol increased with MCE and plume aging. The relationships between the aerosol properties and MCE were consistent between fresh emissions (∼1 h old) and emissions sampled after atmospheric transport (6−45 h), suggesting that biomass burning organic aerosol concentration and chemical properties were strongly influenced by combustion processes at the source and conserved to a significant extent during regional transport. These results suggest that MCE can be a useful metric for describing aerosol properties of wildfire emissions and their impacts on regional air quality and global climate.

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Atmospheric Composition Modeling and Analysis Program (ACMAP)