Evaluation of the Sources, Precursors, and Processing of Aerosols at a High-Altitude Tropical Site

Dominutti, Pamela A. ; Chevassus, Emmanuel ; Baray, Jean-Luc ; Jaffrezo, Jean-Luc ; Borbon, Agnès ; Colomb, Aurèlie ; Deguillaume, Laurent ; Gdachi, Samira El ; Houdier, Stephan ; Leriche, Maud ; Metzger, Jean-Marc ; Rocco, Manon ; Tulet, Pierre ; Sellegri, Karine ; Freney, Evelyn

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<p align=justify>This work presents the results from a set of aerosol- and gas-phase measurements collected during the BIO-MAÏDO field campaign in Réunion between March 8 and April 5, 2019. Several offline and online sampling devices were installed at the Maïdo Observatory (MO), a remote high-altitude site in the Southern Hemisphere, allowing the physical and chemical characterization of atmospheric aerosols and gases. The evaluation of short-lived gas-phase measurements allows us to conclude that air masses sampled during this period contained little or no anthropogenic influence. The dominance of sulfate and organic species in the submicron fraction of the aerosol is similar to that measured at other coastal sites. Carboxylic acids on PM10 showed a significant contribution of oxalic acid, a typical tracer of aqueous processed air masses, increasing at the end of the campaign. This result agrees with the positive matrix factorization analysis of the submicron organic aerosol, where more oxidized organic aerosols (MOOAs) dominated the organic aerosol with an increasing contribution toward the end of the campaign. Using a combination of air mass trajectories (model predictions), it was possible to assess the impact of aqueous phase processing on the formation of secondary organic aerosols (SOAs). Our results show how specific chemical signatures and physical properties of air masses, possibly affected by cloud processing, can be identified at Réunion. These changes in properties are represented by a shift in aerosol size distribution to large diameters and an increased contribution of secondary sulfate and organic aerosols after cloud processing.</p>
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