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Abstract - Smoke aerosol emitted by large scale wildfires in the European part of Russia and Ukraine, was transported to Athens, Greece during August 2010 and detected at an urban background site. Measurements were conducted for physico-chemical characterization of the aged aerosol and included on-line monitoring of PM10 and carbonaceous particles mass concentrations, as well as number size distributions and aerosol optical properties. In addition TSP filter samples were analyzed for major inorganic ions, while morphology and composition of particles was studied by individual particle analysis. Results supported the long-range transport of smoke plumes from Ukraine and Russia burning areas indicated by back trajectory analysis. An increase of 50% and 40% on average in organic (OC) and elemental carbon (EC) concentrations respectively, and more than 95% in carbonate carbon (CC) levels was observed for the biomass burning (BB) transport period of August with respect to the previous month of July. Mean 24-h OC/EC ratio was found in the range 3.2–8.5. Single scattering albedo (SSA) was also increased, indicating abundance of light scattering constituents and/or shift of size distributions towards larger particles. Increase in particle size was further supported by a decreasing trend in absorption Angström exponent (AAE). Ion analysis showed major contribution of secondary species (ammonium sulfate and nitrate) and soil components (Ca2+, Mg2+). Non-sea salt K+ exhibited very good correlation with secondary species, indicating the long-range transport of BB smoke as a possible common source. Individual particle analysis of the samples collected during BB-transport event in Athens revealed elevated number of soot externally mixed with fly ash Ca-rich particles. This result is in agreement with the increased OC and CC levels measured, thus pointing towards the main components comprising the aged BB aerosol microstructure.
Diapouli, E., O. Popovicheva, M. Kistler, S. Vratolis, N. Persiantseva, M. Timofeev, A. Kasper-Giebl, & K. Eleftheriadis (2014) Physicochemical characterization of aged biomass burning aerosol after long-range transport to Greece from large scale wildfires in Russia and surrounding regions, Summer 2010, ATMOSPHERIC ENVIRONMENT 96:393-404.