Determination of Atmospheric Nitrogen Input to Lake Greenwood, South Carolina: Part 1. PM Measurements

Andrew S. Imboden, Lynn G. Salmon, and Christos S. Christoforou
Journal of the Air and Waste Management Association 52 (2002) 1411-1421.


The Reedy River branch of Lake Greenwood, SC, has repeatedly experienced summertime algal blooms, upsetting the natural system. This lake's shallow depth makes it susceptible to atmospheric influence. A series of experiments were carried out in order to investigate the effect of atmospheric nitrogen deposition into the lake. Nitrogen was examined because of the insignificant phosphorus dry atmospheric flux and the unique nutrient demands of the dominant algae (Pithophora oedogonia) contributing to the blooms.

In this paper, results are presented of the experimental measurement of coarse and fine atmospheric concentrations of atmospheric particulate nitrogen adjacent to and in the watershed of the Reedy River (downtown Greenville) and Lake Greenwood. Experiments were carried out during four 24-hr periods in January 2001 and again during four 24-hr periods in March 2001. Results are presented here for atmospheric particulate nitrogen as well as other constituents of the airborne aerosol. Mass concentrations Of PM2.5 averaged 14.0 and 21 µg m-3 for Lake Greenwood and downtown Greenville, respectively. Mass concentrations of total suspended particulates (TSP) averaged 22.6 and 38.5 µg m-3 for Lake Greenwood and downtown Greenville, respectively. This ambient aerosol concentration was apportioned to its chemical constituents, and the greatest contributors to PM2.5 mass were organics (45 and 42% for downtown Greenville and the lake, respectively) and sulfate (14.1 and 19.7% for downtown Greenville and the lake, respectively).

The information gathered here, despite its episodic nature, is important not only in determining atmospheric nitrogen but also in documenting the composition of aerosol in South Carolina, which so far has not been studied. In a companion paper, results for gaseous pollutants as well as thermodynamic modeling of the aerosol and nitrogen flux determinations are presented.

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