Sources and physicochemical characteristics of submicron aerosols during three intensive campaigns in Granada (Spain)
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Autordel Águila, A.; Sorribas, M.; Lyamani, H.; Titos Vela, Gloria; Olmo Reyes, Francisco José; Arruda-Moreira, G.; Yela, M.; Alados-Arboledas, Lucas
Submicron size distributionChemical compositionSource apportionmentNew particle formationBiomass burningTraffic contribution
Aerosol particles in the submicron range and their physicochemical characteristics were investigated for the first time in Granada, southeastern Iberian Peninsula, during three intensive campaigns. The physical and chemical characteristics were analysed during two spring campaigns and one autumn campaign. New particle formation (NPF) events were found to be more frequent in spring than in autumn. The mean duration, growth rates and maximum diameters had ranges of 5.3-13.2 hours, 2.4-4.0 nm h-1 and 35-47 nm, respectively. In addition, one shrinkage event occurred and had a duration of 2.2 hours and a shrinkage rate of -2.5 nm h-1. During a period of atmospheric stagnation conditions under the influence of mountain breezes, three consecutive NPF events occurred. The high frequency of the NPF events was attributed to higher temperature and radiation levels and lower relative humidity than during a previous day with similar stagnant conditions but no nucleation occurrence. According to correlation analysis, mineral components correlated with particle number in the Aitken mode, while metals and secondary inorganic aerosols correlated with particle number in the finer and larger fractions, respectively. Pollutants such as CO, NO2, NO and black carbon showed moderate and high correlations with particle number in the submicron fraction. To assess the impact of the particle number contribution according to sources, a new approach was introduced using black carbon concentrations, resulting in four major contributors: urban background, traffic, NPF and biomass burning. The proposed approach was validated by means of different models based on the aerosol spectral dependencies and chemical compositions that classify aerosol populations. Both the models and the proposed approach identified biomass burning and fossil fuel particles during the same periods, and the results showed good agreement. The proposed approach can guide future studies attempting to account for submicron particle contributions in other urban environments.