National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 2000

Shipboard measurements of concentrations and properties of carbonaceous aerosols during ACE-2

Novakov, T., T.S. Bates, and P.K. Quinn

Tellus, 52B(2), 228–238, doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0889.2000.00019.x (2000)

Mass concentrations of total, organic and black carbon were derived by analyzing the super-micron and submicron aerosol fractions of shipboard collected samples in the eastern Atlantic Ocean as part of the second Aerosol Characterization Experiment (ACE-2). These analyses were complemented by experiments intended to estimate the water-soluble fraction of the sub-micron carbonaceous material. Our results can be summarized as follows. Depending on the sample, between 35% and 80% of total aerosol carbon is associated with the submicron fraction. Total submicron carbon was well correlated with black carbon, a unique tracer for incomplete combustion. These correlations and the approximately constant total to black carbon ratios, suggest that the majority of submicron total carbon is of primary combustion derived origin. No systematic relationship between total submicron aerosol carbon and sulfate concentrations was found. Sulfate concentrations were, with a few exceptions, significantly higher than total carbon. Our experiments have demonstrated that water exposure removed between 36% and 72% of total carbon from the front filter, suggesting that a substantial fraction of the total submicron aerosol organic carbon is water-soluble. An unexpected result of this study is that water exposure of filter samples caused substantial removal of nominally insoluble, submicron black carbon. Possible reasons for this observation are discussed.

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