Atlanta PM₂. ₅, 1999-2008: asaca data trends, quality, and application to ion sensitivity analysis
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Beginning in March 1999 at Georgia Institute of Technology, the ASACA (Assessment of Spatial Aerosol Composition in Atlanta) program has provided PM₂. ₅ concentration and speciation using particle concentration monitoring in and around metropolitan Atlanta. Since 1999, three of the ASACA sites have collected PM₂. ₅ in an urban setting: Fort McPherson (FT, SW), South Dekalb (SD, SE), and Tucker (TU, NE). In January 2007, TU was retired and Fire Station 8 (FS8, NE) was employed as the new urban site. Starting in 2002, PM₂. ₅ concentrations have also been characterized at a rural site, Fort Yargo (YG). Water-soluble ionic species and carbonaceous species concentrations are collected daily on filters using a three-channel particulate composition monitor (PCM). From 1999 to 2008, average PM₂. ₅ concentrations range from 12.9 µg/m3 at YG to 15.4 µg/m3 at TU. Sulfate and organic matter are the main components of Atlanta PM, contributing around 26% and 31% respectively to PM mass. Overall ASACA data quality increased from around 5 in 1999 to a value of 9 in 2005. Seasonal PM data quality appears to be significantly affected by volatility of secondary aerosol species during warm months because ionic data quality regularly decreases in the summer. PM is more sensitive to total sulfate concentration than nitrate and ammonia year-round.