Composition and Chemistry
Levoglucosan levels at background sites in Europe for assessing the impact of biomass combustion on the European aerosol background
Article first published online: 26 SEP 2007
Copyright 2007 by the American Geophysical Union.
Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres (1984–2012)
Volume 112, Issue D23, 16 December 2007
How to Cite
2007), Levoglucosan levels at background sites in Europe for assessing the impact of biomass combustion on the European aerosol background, J. Geophys. Res., 112, D23S05, doi:10.1029/2006JD008114., , , , , , , , and (
- Issue published online: 26 SEP 2007
- Article first published online: 26 SEP 2007
- Manuscript Accepted: 9 AUG 2007
- Manuscript Revised: 2 FEB 2007
- Manuscript Received: 6 OCT 2006
- wood smoke aerosol;
- biomass combustion
 Atmospheric levoglucosan has been determined as a proxy for “biomass smoke” in samples from six background stations on a west–east transect extending from the Atlantic (Azores) to the mid-European background site KPZ (K-Puszta, Hungary). Concentration levels of levoglucosan (biannual averages) in the west–east transect range from 0.005 μg/m3 at the oceanic background site AZO (Azores) to 0.52 μg/m3 at AVE (Aveiro, Portugal). The atmospheric concentration of “biomass smoke” (biannual averages) was derived from the levoglucosan data with wood-type-specific conversion factors. Annual averages of wood smoke levels ranged from 0.05 μg/m3 at AZO to 4.3 μg/m3 at AVE. Winter (DJF) averages at the low-level sites AVE and KPZ were 10.8 and 6.7 μg/m3, respectively. Relative contributions of biomass smoke to organic matter (OM) range from around 9–11% at the elevated sites SIL, PDD and SBO, as well as for AZO, to 36% at the low-level site AVE and 28% at KPZ. Surprisingly high relative concentrations of biomass smoke in OM (68 and 47%) were observed for wintry conditions at the continental low-level CARBOSOL sites AVE and KPZ. Thus biomass smoke is a very important constituent of the organic material in the mid and west European background with summer contributions to organic matter of around 1–6% and winter levels of around 20% at the elevated mountain sites and 47–68% at rural flat terrain sites, not including secondary organic aerosol from biomass combustion sources.