Fossil and non-fossil source contributions to atmospheric carbonaceous aerosols during extreme spring grassland fires in Eastern Europe

Ulevicius, Vidmantas; Byčenkienė, Steigvilė; Bozzetti, Carlo; Vlachou, Athanasia; Plauškaitė, Kristina; Mordas, Genrik; Dudoitis, Vadimas; Abbaszade, Gülcin; Remeikis, Vidmantas; Garbaras, Andrius; Masalaite, Agne; Blees, Jan; Fröhlich, Roman; Dällenbach, Kaspar R.; Canonaco, Francesco; Slowik, Jay G.; Dommen, Josef; Zimmermann, Ralf; Schnelle-Kreis, Jürgen; Salazar Quintero, Gary Abdiel; ... (2016). Fossil and non-fossil source contributions to atmospheric carbonaceous aerosols during extreme spring grassland fires in Eastern Europe. Atmospheric chemistry and physics, 16(9), pp. 5513-5529. European Geosciences Union 10.5194/acp-16-5513-2016

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In early spring the Baltic region is frequently affected by high-pollution events due to biomass burning in that area. Here we present a comprehensive study to investigate the impact of biomass/grass burning (BB) on the evolution and composition of aerosol in Preila, Lithuania, during springtime open fires. Non-refractory submicron particulate matter (NR-PM1) was measured by an Aerodyne aerosol chemical speciation monitor (ACSM) and a source apportionment with the multilinear engine (ME-2) running the positive matrix factorization (PMF) model was applied to the organic aerosol fraction to investigate the impact of biomass/grass burning. Satellite observations over regions of biomass burning activity supported the results and identification of air mass transport to the area of investigation. Sharp increases in biomass burning tracers, such as levoglucosan up to 683 ngm-3 and black carbon (BC) up to 17 μgm-3 were observed during this period. A further separation between fossil and non-fossil primary and secondary contributions was obtained by coupling ACSM PMF results and radiocarbon (14C) measurements of the elemental (EC) and organic (OC) carbon fractions. Non-fossil organic carbon (OCnf/ was the dominant fraction of PM1, with the primary (POCnf/ and secondary (SOCnf/ fractions contributing 26–44% and 13–23% to the total carbon (TC), respectively. 5–8% of the TC had a primary fossil origin (POCf/, whereas the contribution of fossil secondary organic carbon (SOCf/ was 4–13 %. Nonfossil EC (ECnf/ and fossil EC (ECf/ ranged from 13–24 and 7–13 %, respectively. Isotope ratios of stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes were used to distinguish aerosol particles associated with solid and liquid fossil fuel burning.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences (DCBP)
10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)

UniBE Contributor:

Salazar Quintero, Gary Abdiel, Agrios, Konstantinos, Szidat, Sönke


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
500 Science > 540 Chemistry




European Geosciences Union




Sönke Szidat

Date Deposited:

12 Jul 2016 11:41

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:56

Publisher DOI:





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