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Long Term Black Carbon Measurements at Two Urban Locations in New York

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Volume: 13 | Issue: 4 | Pages: 1181-1196
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2013.02.0060
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Oliver V. Rattigan 1, Kevin Civerolo1, Prakash Doraiswamy2, H. Dirk Felton1, Philip K. Hopke3

  • 1 New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Division of Air Resources, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY, USA
  • 2 Atmospheric Sciences Research Center, University at Albany, Albany, NY, USA
  • 3 Center for Air Resources Engineering and Science, Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY, USA

Abstract

Measurements of PM2.5 black carbon (BC) over an 8–9 year period are used to characterize temporal patterns at sites in New York City (NYC) and Rochester, NY. Annual mean BC at the NYC location ranges from 1.4 to 2.0 μg/m3, whereas mean concentrations at Rochester are approximately a factor of 2–3 lower. BC amounts to 15–20% of PM2.5 mass in NYC compared to 7–10% at Rochester. Seasonal patterns reveal the highest BC concentrations in NYC from November to February versus June to November at Rochester. At both locations, mean weekday (Monday-Friday) BC concentrations are statistically higher compared to weekends (Saturday and Sunday). Weekday BC diurnal profiles exhibit a morning peak between 6–10 AM EST followed by an afternoon minimum, with a secondary peak in the late evening. Sunday BC diurnal profiles show highest concentrations at night, from 8 PM to 2 AM. These patterns are consistent with vehicle counts on nearby roadways and boundary layer dynamics at both locations. Simultaneous measurements of BC at 370 and 880 nm show an enhancement in BC370 relative to the BC880 from October to March. This enhanced signal is most evident at Rochester during late evening and early morning hours (8 PM to 4 AM) on weekends, and is attributed to UV absorbing species (such as wood smoke markers) in the ambient particle mixture. At the NYC site, the levels of Nickel (Ni) and Cobalt (Co) in PM10 are elevated during the heating season due to residual oil combustion. The long term datasets are used to explore the seasonal relationship between BC880 and EC at both sites.

Keywords

Black carbon Aethalometer® Diurnal pattern Wood smoke Nickel


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