12th Conference on Atmospheric Chemistry


Investigating Emissions and Evolution of Trace Gases and Aerosols from Biomass Burning Plumes Measured during the ARCTAS-2008 Field Campaign

Arsineh Hecobian, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO; and R. Weber, G. Sachse, G. Diskin, S. Vay, J. L. Jimenez, A. Wisthaler, P. Wennberg, B. E. Anderson, A. Weinheimer, and D. Knapp

A wide range of smoke plumes from various fires were studied during the NASA ARCTAS (Arctic Research of the Composition of the Troposphere from Aircraft and Satellites) experiment undertaken as part of the international POLARCAT (Polar Study using Aircraft, Remote Sensing, Surface Measurements and Models, of Climate, Chemistry, Aerosols and Transport) experiment for the International Polar Year (IPY) 2007-2008. This paper compares and contrasts measurements of a wide range of biomass-burning plumes that were intercepted by the NASA DC-8 research aircraft during the three phases of the ARCTAS experiment: ARCTAS-A, based out of Fairbanks, Alaska U.S.A. (3 April to 19 April 2008); ARCTAS-B based out of Cold Lake, Alberta, Canada (29 June to 13 July 2008); and ARCTAS-CARB, based out of Palmdale, California U.S.A. (18 June to 24 June 2008).

A statistical summary of the emission ratios and changes in gaseous and aerosol species concentrations within the plumes, relative to CO, as the plumes ages provides insights on the differences between these fires. The most extensive investigation of fire evolution was undertaken during ARCTAS-B where smoke from numerous large boreal forest fires were intercepted by the aircraft at a wide range of down-wind distances. This provided a unique opportunity for investigating the changes in trace gases and aerosols as the smoke plumes aged. A complex evolutionary progression with rapid production of secondary aerosols was observed in the boreal fires.

Recorded presentation

Session 1, Field and Laboratory Studies of Air Quality I
Monday, 18 January 2010, 11:00 AM-12:00 PM, B316

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