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Sources of organic aerosol investigated using organic compounds as tracers measured during CalNex in Bakersfield

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To investigate the major sources of summertime organic aerosol (OA) and provide insights into secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formation, positive matrix factorization analysis was performed on a large set of organic species measured during the California at the Nexus of Air Quality and Climate Change (CalNex) campaign in Bakersfield, CA. Six OA source factors were identified, including one representing primary organic aerosol (POA); four different types of SOA representing local, regional, and nighttime production; and one representing a complex mixture of additional OA sources that were not further resolvable. POA accounted for an average of 15% of measured OA. The complex mixture of additional OA sources contributed an average of 13% of measured OA. The combined contribution of four types of SOA to measured OA averaged 72% and varied diurnally from 78% during the day to 66% at night. Both regional and local SOA were significant contributors to measured OA during the day, but regional SOA was the larger one, especially in the afternoon. Although contributions to SOA from oxidation of biogenic gas-phase compounds were less constrained, they were evident and dominantly occurred at night. The formation of SOA is indicated to be mainly through gas-to-particle condensation of gas-phase oxidation products during the day. Our results indicate that effective control measures to reduce summertime OA in Bakersfield should focus on reducing sources of gas-phase organics that serve as SOA precursors during the day, and it is more effective to reduce SOA precursors at the regional scale in the afternoon. Key Points SOA was the dominant component of OA, and four types of SOA were identified Both regional and local SOA were significant contributors to OA the formation of SOA was mainly through gas-to-particle condensation ©2013. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

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