Wood smoke contribution to winter aerosol in fresno, CA

Courtney A. Gorin, Jeffrey L. Collett, Pierre Herckes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


In an effort to better quantify wintertime particulate matter (PM) and the contribution of wood smoke to air pollution events in Fresno, CA, a field campaign was conducted in winter 2003–2004. Coarse and fine daily PM samples were collected at five locations in Fresno, including residential, urban, and industrial areas. Measurements of collected samples included gravimetric mass determination, organic and elemental carbon analysis, and trace organic compound analysis by gas chromatograph mass spectrometry (GC/MS). The wood smoke tracer levoglucosan was also measured in aqueous aerosol extracts using high-performance anion exchange chromatography coupled with pulsed amperometric detection. Sample preparation and analysis by this technique is much simpler and less expensive than derivatized levoglucosan analysis by GC/MS, permitting analysis of daily PM samples from all five of the measurement locations. Analyses revealed low spatial variability and similar temporal patterns of PM2.5 mass, organic carbon (OC), and levoglucosan. Daily mass concentrations appear to have been strongly influenced by meteorological conditions, including precipitation, wind, and fog events. Fine PM (PM2.5) concentrations are uncommonly low during the study period, reflecting frequent precipitation events. During the first portion of the study, levoglucosan had a strong relationship to the concentrations of PM2.5 and OC. In the later portion of the study, there was a significant reduction in levoglucosan relative to PM2.5 and OC. This may indicate a change in particle removal processes, perhaps because of fog events, which were more common in the latter period. Combined, the emissions from wood smoke, meat cooking, and motor vehicles appear to contribute ∼65–80% to measured OC, with wood smoke, on average, accounting for ∼41% of OC and ∼18% of PM2.5 mass. Two residential sites exhibit somewhat higher contributions of wood smoke to OC than other locations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1584-1590
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the Air and Waste Management Association
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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