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Saarikoski, S, Sillanpaa, M, Sofiev, M, Timonen, H, Saarnio, K, Teinela, K, Karppinen, A, Kukkonen, J, Hillamo, R (2007). Chemical composition of aerosols during a major biomass burning episode over northern Europe in spring 2006: Experimental and modelling assessments. ATMOSPHERIC ENVIRONMENT, 41(17), 3577-3589.

The long-range transported smokes emitted by biomass burning had a strong impact on the PM2.5 mass concentrations in Helsinki over the 12 days period in April and May 2006. To characterize aerosols during this period, the real-time measurements were done for PM2.5, PM2.5-10, common ions and black carbon. Moreover, the 24-h PM1 filter samples were analysed for organic and elemental carbon (OC and EC), water-soluble organic carbon (WSOC), ions and levoglucosan. The Finnish emergency and air quality modelling system SILAM was used for the forecast of the PM2.5 concentration generated by biomass burning. According to the real-time PM2.5 data, the investigated period was divided into four types of PM situations: episode 1 (EPI-1; 25-29 April), episode 2 (EPI-2; 1-5 May), episode 3 (EPI-3; 5-6 May) and a reference period (REF; 24 March-24 April). EPI-3 included a local warehouse fire and therefore it is discussed separately. The PM I mass concentrations of biomass burning tracers-levoglucosan, potassium and oxalate-increased during the two long-range transport episodes (EPI-1 and EPI-2). The most substantial difference between the episodes was exhibited by the sulphate concentration, which was 4.9 (+/- 1.4) mu g m(-3) in EPI-2 but only 2.4 (+/- 0.31) mu g m(-3) in EPI-1 being close to that of REF (1.8 +/- 0.54 mu g m(-3)). The concentration of particulate organic matter in PM1 was clearly higher during EPI-1 (11 +/- 3.3 mu g m(-3)) and EPI-2 (9.7 +/- 4.0 mu g m(-3)) than REF (1.3 +/- 0.45 mu g m(-3)). The long-range transported smoke had only a minor impact on the WSOC-to-OC ratio. According to the model simulations, MODIS detected the fires that caused the first set of concentration peaks (EPI-1) and the local warehouse fire (EPI-3), but missed the second one (EPI-2) probably due to dense frontal clouds. (c) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.



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