Seasonal and spatial variability of the size-resolved chemical composition of particulate matter (PM10) in the Los Angeles Basin



[1] For a period of almost 3 years, sampling of size-fractionated ambient particulate matter with diameter below 10 μm (PM10) was performed at urban source sites (Downey and University of Southern California) and inland receptor sites (Claremont and Riverside) in the Los Angeles Basin as part of the Southern California Particle Center and Supersite. Results for size-resolved PM10 mass, inorganic ions (sulfate and nitrate), metals, elemental carbon, and organic carbon were obtained. Three collocated micro-orifice uniform deposit impactors (MOUDIs) were deployed to collect 24-hour samples roughly once a week. Ultrafine particle concentrations (particle diameter dp < 0.1 μm) were found to be the highest at the source sites resulting from fresh vehicular emissions. Mass concentrations in the accumulation mode (0.1 < dp < 2.5 μm) were lower in winter than in summer, especially at the receptor sites. PM concentrations in the coarse mode (2.5 < dp < 10 μm) were lower in winter and were composed mostly of nitrate and crustal elements (iron, calcium, potassium, silicon, and aluminum). Consistent relative levels of these elements indicate a common source of soil and/or road dust. In the accumulation mode, nitrate and organic carbon were predominant with higher nitrate levels found at the receptor sites. The ultrafine mode PM consisted of mostly organic carbon, with higher wintertime levels at the source sites due to increased organic vapor condensation from vehicles at lower temperatures. Conversely, higher ultrafine organic carbon levels at the receptor areas are due to secondary organic aerosol formation by photochemical reactions as well as increased advection of polluted air masses from upwind.