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Aerosol hygroscopicity in the marine atmosphere: a closure study using high-resolution, size-resolved AMS and multiple-RH DASH-SP data

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Author(s): S. P. Hersey | A. Sorooshian | S. M. Murphy | R. C. Flagan | J. H. Seinfeld

Journal: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions
ISSN 1680-7367

Volume: 8;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 16789;
Date: 2008;
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ABSTRACT
We have conducted the first closure study to couple high-resolution aerosol mass spectrometer (AMS) composition data with size-resolved, multiple-RH, high-time-resolution hygroscopic growth factor (GF) measurements from the differential aerosol sizing and hygroscopicity spectrometer probe (DASH-SP). These data were collected off the coast of Central California during seven of the 16 flights carried out during the MASE-II field campaign in July 2007. Two of the seven flights were conducted in airmasses that originated over the continental United States. These flights exhibited elevated organic volume fractions (VForganic=0.46±0.22, as opposed to 0.24±0.18 for all other flights), corresponding to significantly suppressed GFs at high RH (1.61±0.14 at 92% RH, as compared with 1.91±0.07 for all other flights), more moderate GF suppression at intermediate RH (1.53±0.10 at 85%, compared with 1.58±0.08 for all other flights, and no measurable GF suppression at low RH (1.31±0.06 at 74%, compared with 1.31±0.07 for all other flights). Organic loadings were slightly elevated in above-cloud aerosols, as compared with below-cloud aerosols, and corresponded to a similar trend of significantly suppressed GF at high RH, but more moderate impacts at lower values of RH. A hygroscopic closure based on a volume-weighted mixing rule provided excellent agreement with DASH-SP measurements (R2=0.79). Minimization of root mean square error between observations and predictions indicated mission-averaged organic GFs of 1.20, 1.43, and 1.46 at 74, 85, and 92% RH, respectively. These values agree with previously reported values for water-soluble organics such as dicarboxylic and multifunctional acids, and correspond to a highly oxidized, presumably water-soluble, organic fraction (O:C=0.92±0.33). Finally, a backward stepwise linear regression revealed that, other than RH, the most important predictor for GF is VForganic, indicating that a simple emperical model relating GF, RH, and the relative abundance of organic material can provide accurate predictions of hygroscopic growth in the marine atmosphere.

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