Constraining the contribution of organic acids and AMS m/z 44 to the organic aerosol budget: On the importance of meteorology, aerosol hygroscopicity, and region

Armin Sorooshian, Shane M. Murphy, Scott Hersey, Roya Bahreini, Haflidi Jonsson, Richard C. Flagan, John H. Seinfeld

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53 Scopus citations


Airborne measurements in regions of varying meteorology and pollution are used to quantify the contribution of organic acids and a mass spectral marker for oxygenated aerosols, m/z 44, to the total organic aerosol budget. Organic acids and m/z 44 separately are shown to exhibit their highest organic mass fractions in the vicinity of clouds. The contribution of such oxygenated species is shown to increase as a function of relative humidity, aerosol hygroscopicity (and decreasing organic mass fraction), and is typically greater off the California coast versus the continental atmospheres studied. Reasons include more efficient chemistry and partitioning of organic acid precursors with increasing water in the reaction medium, and high aqueous-phase processing times in boundary layers with higher cloud volume fractions. These results highlight the importance of secondary organic aerosol formation in both wet aerosols and cloud droplets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL21807
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 2010


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
  • Geophysics

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