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Wang, YG; Huang, JY; Zananski, TJ; Hopke, PK; Holsen, TM (2010). Impacts of the Canadian Forest Fires on Atmospheric Mercury and Carbonaceous Particles in Northern New York. ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY, 44(22), 8435-8440.

The impact of Canadian forest fires in Quebec on May 31, 2010 on PM2.5, carbonaceous species, and atmospheric mercury species was observed at three rural sites in northern New York. The results were compared with previous studies during a 2002 Quebec forest fire episode. MODIS satellite images showed transport of forest fire smoke from southern Quebec, Canada to northern New York on May 31, 2010. Back-trajectories were consistent with this regional transport. During the forest fire event, as much as an 18-fold increase in PM2.5 concentration was observed. The concentrations of episode-related OC, EC, BC, UVBC, and their difference (Delta-C), reactive gaseous mercury (RGM), and particle-bound mercury (PBM) were also significantly higher than those under normal conditions, suggesting a high impact of Canadian forest fire emissions on air quality in northern New York. PBM, RGM, and Delta-C are all emitted from forest fires. The correlation coefficient between Delta-C and other carbonaceous species may serve as an indicator of forest fire smoke. Given the marked changes in PBM, it may serve as a more useful tracer of forest fires over distances of several hundred kilometers relative to GEM. However, the Delta-C concentration changes are more readily measured.



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