Particulate Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the Atlantic and Indian Ocean Atmospheres During INDOEX and AEROSOLs99: Continental Sources to the Marine Atmosphere

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Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), mutagenic compounds predominantly derived from combustion, have been used as markers of combustion sources to the atmosphere. Marine aerosol collected aboard the NOAA R/V Ronald Brown during the Aerosols99 and the Indian Ocean Experiment (INDOEX) projects was analyzed for PAHs to assess the continental impact of combustion-derived particulate matter on the Atlantic and Indian Ocean atmospheres. PAH concentrations in the Atlantic and southern Indian Ocean atmospheres were consistent and low, ranging from <0.45 pg/m(3) for coronene to 30 pg/m(3) for 9,10-dimethylanthracene. PAH concentrations increased ten fold as the ship crossed the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) into the northern Indian Ocean, indicating an increased anthropogenic influence. PAH concentrations over the northern Indian Ocean atmosphere were approximately an order of magnitude greater than those in the northern Atlantic Ocean atmosphere. PAH composition profiles over the northern Indian Ocean were specific to wind regimes and influenced by a combination of biomass and fossil fuel combustion. This was supported by significant correlations between select PAHs and organic carbon (OC), elemental carbon (EC), SO4-2 and K+ for particular wind regimes. Indeno[1,2,3-cd]pyrene/EC ratios used as a combustion source marker suggest that fossil fuel combustion, rather than biomass burning, is the predominant source of PAHs to the Northern Hemisphere Indian Ocean atmosphere. Interestingly, fossil fuel consumption in the Indian sub-continent is a fraction of that in Europe and the United States but the soot and PAH levels in the adjacent Northern Indian Ocean atmosphere are significantly greater than those in the Northern Atlantic atmosphere.

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Journal Of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres







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