Source‐diagnostic dual‐isotope composition and optical properties of water‐soluble organic carbon and elemental carbon in the South Asian outflow intercepted over the Indian Ocean
Published Web Locationhttps://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/2014JD022127
The dual carbon isotope signatures and optical properties of carbonaceous aerosols have been investigated simultaneously for the first time in the South Asian outflow during an intensive campaign at the Maldives Climate Observatory on Hanimaadhoo (MCOH) (February and March 2012). As one component of the Cloud Aerosol Radiative Forcing Dynamics Experiment, this paper reports on the sources and the atmospheric processing of elemental carbon (EC) and water-soluble organic carbon (WSOC) as examined by a dual carbon isotope approach. The radiocarbon (Δ14C) data show that WSOC has a significantly higher biomass/biogenic contribution (86 ± 5%) compared to EC (59 ± 4%). The more13C-enriched signature of MCOH-WSOC (20.8 ± 0.7‰) compared to MCOH-EC (25.8 ± 0.3‰) and megacity Delhi WSOC (24.1 ± 0.9‰) suggests that WSOC is significantly more affected by aging during long-range transport than EC. The δ13 C-Δ14 C signal suggests that the wintertime WSOC intercepted over the Indian Ocean largely represents aged primary biomass burning aerosols. Since light-absorbing organic carbon aerosols (Brown Carbon (BrC)) have recently been identified as potential contributors to positive radiative forcing, optical properties of WSOC were also investigated. The mass absorption cross section of WSOC (MAC365) was 0.5 ± 0.2 m2 g1 which is lower than what has been observed at near-source sites, indicating a net decrease of WSOC light-absorption character during long-range transport. Near-surface WSOC at MCOH accounted for ~1% of the total direct solar absorbance relative to EC, which is lower than the BrC absorption inferred from solar spectral observations of ambient aerosols, suggesting that a significant portion of BrC might be included in the water-insoluble portion of organic aerosols.
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