An intensive field measurement was conducted at a remote, background, high-altitude site (Qomolangma Station, QOMS, 4276 m a.s.l.) in the northern Himalayas, using an Aerodyne high-resolution time-of-flight aerosol mass spectrometer (HR-ToF-AMS) along with other collocated instruments. The field measurement was performed from 12 April to 12 May 2016 to chemically characterize the high time-resolved submicron particulate matter (PM1) and obtain the dynamic processes (emissions, transport, and chemical evolution) of biomass burning (BB), frequently transported from South Asia to the Himalayas during pre-monsoon season. Overall, the average (±1σ) PM1 mass concentration was 4.44 (±4.54) μg mĝ'3 for the entire study, which is comparable with those observed at other remote sites worldwide. Organic aerosol (OA) was the dominant PM1 species (accounting for 54.3 % of total PM1 on average) followed by black carbon (BC) (25.0 %), sulfate (9.3 %), ammonium (5.8 %), nitrate (5.1 %), and chloride (0.4 %). The average size distributions of PM1 species all peaked at an overlapping accumulation mode (∼ 500 nm), suggesting that aerosol particles were internally well-mixed and aged during long-range transport. Positive matrix factorization (PMF) analysis on the high-resolution organic mass spectra identified three distinct OA factors, including a BB-related OA (BBOA, 43.7 %), a nitrogen-containing OA (NOA, 13.9 %) and a more-oxidized oxygenated OA (MO-OOA, 42.4 %). Two polluted episodes with enhanced PM1 mass loadings and elevated BBOA contributions from the west and southwest of QOMS during the study were observed. A typical BB plume was investigated in detail to illustrate the chemical evolution of aerosol characteristics under distinct air mass origins, meteorological conditions, and atmospheric oxidation processes.
Zhang, X., Xu, J., Kang, S., Liu, Y., & Zhang, Q. (2018). Chemical characterization of long-range transport biomass burning emissions to the Himalayas: Insights from high-resolution aerosol mass spectrometry. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 18(7), 4617–4638. https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-18-4617-2018