Real-time detection and mixing state of methanesulfonate in single particles at an inland urban location during a phytoplankton bloom

Cassandra Gaston, Kerri A. Pratt, Xueying Qin, Kimberly A. Prather

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

48 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Dimethyl sulfide (DMS), produced by oceanic phytoplankton, is oxidized to form methanesulfonic acid (MSA) and sulfate, which influence particle chemistry and hygroscopicity. Unlike sulfate, MSA has no known anthropogenic source making it a useful tracer for ocean-derived biogenic sulfur. Despite numerous observations of MSA, predominately in marine environments, the production pathways of MSA have remained elusive highlighting the need for additional measurements, particularly at inland locations. During the Study of Organic Aerosols in Riverside, CA from July-August 2005, MSA was detected in submicrometer and supermicrometer particles using real-time, single-particle mass spectrometry. MSA was detected due to blooms of DMS-producing organisms along the California coast. The detection of MSA depended on both the origin of the sampled air mass as well as the concentration of oceanic chlorophyll present. MSA was mainly mixed with coastally emitted particle types implying that partitioning of MSAoccurred before transportto Riverside. Importantly, particles containing vanadium had elevated levels of MSA compared to particles not containing vanadium, suggesting a possible catalytic role of vanadium in MSA formation. This study demonstrates how anthropogenic, metal-containing aerosols can enhance the atmospheric processing of biogenic emissions, which needs to be considered when modeling coastal as well as urban locations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1566-1572
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Volume44
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2010
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Phytoplankton
algal bloom
phytoplankton
acid
Vanadium
vanadium
Aerosols
Sulfates
sulfide
particle
detection
methanesulfonic acid
aerosol
sulfate
hygroscopicity
biogenic emission
anthropogenic source
Chlorophyll
Sulfur
air mass

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry

Cite this

Real-time detection and mixing state of methanesulfonate in single particles at an inland urban location during a phytoplankton bloom. / Gaston, Cassandra; Pratt, Kerri A.; Qin, Xueying; Prather, Kimberly A.

In: Environmental Science and Technology, Vol. 44, No. 5, 01.03.2010, p. 1566-1572.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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