Thursday, 12 November 2009
A field study was carried during 19 July to 14 August 2009 to understand the physical and the chemical attributes of aerosols found in the lower atmosphere at Howard University's Beltsville Campus. An additional objective of the field study was to investigate the processes involved in the formation of secondary organic aerosols (SOAs). To achieve the objectives, an Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (AMS) and an Ultra-high Sensitive Aerosol Spectrometer (UHSAS) continuously sampled atmospheric air for aerosols and associated chemistry. Diurnal patterns and vertical distribution of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were also investigated to determine the role that VOCs play in the formation of SOAs. Results will be presented and discussed to explain how aerosol physical characteristics and chemical composition changed depending on the degree of local photochemistry and air mass transport history. In addition, results will be discussed in the context of how the observed SOAs can influence cloud microphysics, regional climate, and possibly human health.
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