Anthropogenic influences on the physical state of submicron particulate matter over a tropical forest

Adam P. Bateman, Zhaoheng Gong, Tristan H. Harder, Suzane S. De Sá, Bingbing Wang, Paulo Castillo, Swarup China, Yingjun Liu, Rachel E. O'Brien, Brett B. Palm, Hung Wei Shiu, Glauber G. Cirino, Ryan Thalman, Kouji Adachi, M. Lizabeth Alexander, Paulo Artaxo, Allan K. Bertram, P R Buseck, Mary K. Gilles, Jose L. JimenezAlexander Laskin, Antonio O. Manzi, Arthur Sedlacek, Rodrigo A F Souza, Jian Wang, Rahul Zaveri, Scot T. Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


The occurrence of nonliquid and liquid physical states of submicron atmospheric particulate matter (PM) downwind of an urban region in central Amazonia was investigated. Measurements were conducted during two intensive operating periods (IOP1 and IOP2) that took place during the wet and dry seasons of the GoAmazon2014/5 campaign. Air masses representing variable influences of background conditions, urban pollution, and regional-and continental-scale biomass burning passed over the research site. As the air masses varied, particle rebound fraction, an indicator of physical state, was measured in real time at ground level using an impactor apparatus. Micrographs collected by transmission electron microscopy confirmed that liquid particles adhered, while nonliquid particles rebounded. Relative humidity (RH) was scanned to collect rebound curves. When the apparatus RH matched ambient RH, 95ĝ€% of the particles adhered as a campaign average. Secondary organic material, produced for the most part by the oxidation of volatile organic compounds emitted from the forest, produces liquid PM over this tropical forest. During periods of anthropogenic influence, by comparison, the rebound fraction dropped to as low as 60ĝ€% at 95ĝ€% RH. Analyses of the mass spectra of the atmospheric PM by positive-matrix factorization (PMF) and of concentrations of carbon monoxide, total particle number, and oxides of nitrogen were used to identify time periods affected by anthropogenic influences, including both urban pollution and biomass burning. The occurrence of nonliquid PM at high RH correlated with these indicators of anthropogenic influence. A linear model having as output the rebound fraction and as input the PMF factor loadings explained up to 70ĝ€% of the variance in the observed rebound fractions. Anthropogenic influences can contribute to the presence of nonliquid PM in the atmospheric particle population through the combined effects of molecular species that increase viscosity when internally mixed with background PM and increased concentrations of nonliquid anthropogenic particles in external mixtures of anthropogenic and biogenic PM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1759-1773
Number of pages15
JournalAtmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 6 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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