Visibility - Reducing Organic Aerosols in the Vicinity of Grand Canyon National Park: Properties Observed by High Resolution Gas Chromatography

Monica A. Mazurek, Michael C. Masonjones, Heather D. Masonjones, Lynn G. Salmon
Glen R. Cass, Kristen A. Hallock, and Martin Leach
Journal of Geophysical Research, 102 (1997) 3779--3793


Fine particle and total airborne particle samples were collected during August 1989 within the Grand Canyon (Indian Gardens, IG) and on its south rim (Hopi Point, HP) to define summertime organic aerosol concentration and composition as a function of elevation at Grand Canyon National Park. Inorganic chemical constituents were analyzed also to help place the relative importance of organics in perspective. Fine particle organic aerosols were approximately equal in concentration to sulfate aerosols at both sites. Monthly average mass concentrations for fine aerosol organics ranged from 1.1 µg/m3 (IG) to 1.3 µg/m3 (HP), while the organic aerosol concentration within total suspended particulate matter samples ranged from 1.9 µg/m3 (IG) to 2.1 µg/m3 (HP). Aerosol organics that could be evaluated by gas chromatography with flame ionization detection (GC-FID) (elutable organics) constituted 27% to 53% of the total organics mass collected as fine or total aerosol. At each site, roughly half of the elutable organics fine aerosol fraction was composed of highly polar organic compounds. Distributions of the elutable organics were compared to Los Angeles fine aerosol samples and to distributions of authentic sources of aerosol organics. It was found that the Grand Canyon organic aerosol during August 1989 did not resemble diluted aged Los Angeles organic aerosol, indicating that most of the organic particulate matter at the Grand Canyon at the time studied originated from other sources.

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