Organic aerosol formation in urban and industrial plumes near Houston and Dallas, Texas

Authors

  • R. Bahreini,

    1. Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, Colorado, USA
    2. Also at Earth System Research Laboratory, NOAA, Boulder, Colorado, USA.
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  • B. Ervens,

    1. Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, Colorado, USA
    2. Also at Earth System Research Laboratory, NOAA, Boulder, Colorado, USA.
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  • A. M. Middlebrook,

    1. Earth System Research Laboratory, NOAA, Boulder, Colorado, USA
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  • C. Warneke,

    1. Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, Colorado, USA
    2. Also at Earth System Research Laboratory, NOAA, Boulder, Colorado, USA.
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  • J. A. de Gouw,

    1. Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, Colorado, USA
    2. Also at Earth System Research Laboratory, NOAA, Boulder, Colorado, USA.
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  • P. F. DeCarlo,

    1. Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, Colorado, USA
    2. Now at Paul Scherrer Institut, Villigen, Switzerland.
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  • J. L. Jimenez,

    1. Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, Colorado, USA
    2. Also at Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, Colorado, USA.
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  • C. A. Brock,

    1. Earth System Research Laboratory, NOAA, Boulder, Colorado, USA
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  • J. A. Neuman,

    1. Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, Colorado, USA
    2. Also at Earth System Research Laboratory, NOAA, Boulder, Colorado, USA.
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  • T. B. Ryerson,

    1. Earth System Research Laboratory, NOAA, Boulder, Colorado, USA
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  • H. Stark,

    1. Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, Colorado, USA
    2. Also at Earth System Research Laboratory, NOAA, Boulder, Colorado, USA.
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  • E. Atlas,

    1. Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami, Miami, Florida, USA
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  • J. Brioude,

    1. Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, Colorado, USA
    2. Also at Earth System Research Laboratory, NOAA, Boulder, Colorado, USA.
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  • A. Fried,

    1. Earth Observing Laboratory, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado, USA
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  • J. S. Holloway,

    1. Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, Colorado, USA
    2. Also at Earth System Research Laboratory, NOAA, Boulder, Colorado, USA.
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  • J. Peischl,

    1. Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, Colorado, USA
    2. Also at Earth System Research Laboratory, NOAA, Boulder, Colorado, USA.
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  • D. Richter,

    1. Earth Observing Laboratory, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado, USA
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  • J. Walega,

    1. Earth Observing Laboratory, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado, USA
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  • P. Weibring,

    1. Earth Observing Laboratory, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado, USA
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  • A. G. Wollny,

    1. Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, Colorado, USA
    2. Now at Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Mainz, Germany.
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  • F. C. Fehsenfeld

    1. Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, Colorado, USA
    2. Also at Earth System Research Laboratory, NOAA, Boulder, Colorado, USA.
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Abstract

[1] We present measurements of organic aerosol (OA) in urban plumes from Houston and Dallas/Fort Worth as well as in industrial plumes in the Houston area during TexAQS-2006. Consistent with the TexAQS-2000 study, measurements show greater amount of aerosol mass downwind of the industrial centers compared to urban areas. This is likely due to higher emission and processing of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the industrial sources along the Houston ship channel. Comparisons of the current measurements with observations from the northeastern (NE) United States indicate that the observed ratios of the enhancement above background in OA, ΔOA, to the enhancement above background in CO, ΔCO, downwind of urban centers of Houston and Dallas/Fort Worth are within a factor of 2 of the same values in plumes from urban areas in the NE United States. In the ship channel plumes, ΔOA/ΔCO exceeds that in the urban areas by factors ranging from 1.5 to 7. We use a chemical box model to simulate secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formation from anthropogenic and biogenic VOCs in different plumes using recently reported dependencies of SOA yields on VOC/NOx ratios. Modeled SOA to CO enhancement ratios are within a factor of 2 of measurements. The increase in SOA from biogenic VOCs (BVOCs) predicted by the chemical box model as well as by a separate analysis using a Lagrangian particle dispersion model (FLEXPART) is <0.7 μg per standard m3 (sm−3). We find no evidence for a substantial influence of BVOCs on OA formation in our measurements in Houston area.

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