Dynamic variations of ultrafine, fine and coarse particles at the Lu-Lin background site in East Asia
The characteristics of atmospheric ultrafine particles (i.e. <100 nm, nanoparticles or PM0.1), PM2.5 and PM10 were studied at the Lulin Atmospheric Background Station (LABS, 2862 m a.s.l., Taiwan) as part of the 7SEAS/Dongsha campaign. Sampling was conducted in July and August of 2009 and September to November of 2010, during which two 96-h and four 72-h PM samples were taken. Real-time particle size distributions were measured continuously from July to August of 2009 and July to November of 2010. PM0.1, PM2.5 and PM10 were collected by using two MOUDIs (micro-orifice uniform deposit impactor, MSP 110) and a Dichotomous PM10 sampler (Andersen SA-241) while real-time size distributions of particles of 5.5-350 nm in diameter were measured by an SMPS (scanning mobility particle sizer, TSI 3936). Filter samples were analyzed for gravimetric mass and chemical compositions, including organic carbon (OC), element carbon (EC), water-soluble ions and trace elements. Meteorology parameters and gaseous O3 and CO concentrations were also monitored along with the SMPS data for studying particle nucleation, condensation, SOA (secondary organic aerosol) formation and long-range air pollutant transport at the LABS. SMPS data showed that nanoparticle concentrations at the LABS remained relatively stable at low level (∼300-500 #/cm3) during the nighttime (22:00-04:00), increased during daytime, and reached a maximum (∼2000-4000 #/cm3) in the afternoon (12:00-16:00). The NMD (number median diameter) showed an opposite trend with the peak number concentrations observed in the afternoon corresponding to the smallest NMD (20-40 nm). These results indicate the dominance of local sources rather than the transport from other atmospheric air because that the lifetime of nanoparticles was only few minutes. Chemical analysis of filter samples showed that the concentrations of trace elements K and Mn, which serve as biomass burning markers, were elevated in the fine particle fractions during November 9-12th when the air mass passed through South and Southeast Asia prior to reaching the LABS. The concentrations of K and Mn would have been low if the aerosols had local origins The biomass burning derived K was found in all fine particle samples at the LABS suggesting that the free troposphere around Taiwan is frequently impacted by the long-range transport of biomass burning plumes via the westerly winds.