Influence of Ohio River valley emissions on fine particle sulfate measured from aircraft over large regions of the eastern United States and Canada during INTEX-NA

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Abstract

[1] Aircraft measurements of fine inorganic aerosol composition were made with a particle-into-liquid sampler coupled to dual ion chromatographs (PILS-IC) as part of the NASA INTEX-NA study. The sampling campaign, which lasted from 1 July to 14 August 2004, centered over the eastern United States and Canada and showed that sulfate was the dominant inorganic species measured. The highest sulfate concentrations were observed at altitudes below 2 km, and back trajectory analyses showed a distinct difference between air masses that had or had not intercepted the Ohio River valley (ORV) region. Air masses encountered below 2 km with a history over the ORV had sulfate concentrations that were higher by a factor of 3.2 and total sulfur (S) concentrations higher by 2.5. The study's highest sulfate concentrations were found in these air masses. The sulfur of the ORV air masses was also more processed with a mean sulfate to total sulfur molar ratio of 0.5 compared to 0.3 in non-ORV measurements. Results from a second, independent trajectory model agreed well with those from the primary analysis. These ORV-influenced air masses were encountered on multiple days and were widely spread across the eastern United States and western Atlantic region.

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