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Type: Journal Article
Author(s): M. I. Schurman; T. Lee; Y. Desyaterik; B. A. Schichtel; S. M. Kreidenweis; J. L. Collett
Publication Date: July 2015

Ecosystem health and visibility degradation due to fine-mode atmospheric particles have been documented in remote areas and motivate particle characterization that can inform mitigation strategies. This study explores submicron (PM1) particle size, composition, and source apportionment at Grand Teton National Park using High-Resolution Time-of-Flight Aerosol Mass Spectrometer data with Positive Matrix Factorization and MODIS fire information. Particulate mass averages 2.08 µg/m3 (max = 21.91 µg/m3) of which 75.0% is organic; PMF-derived Low-Volatility Oxygenated Organic Aerosol (LV-OOA) averages 61.1% of PM1 (or 1.05 µg/m3), with sporadic but higher-concentration biomass burning (BBOA) events contributing another 13.9%. Sulfate (12.5%), ammonium (8.7%), and nitrate (3.8%) are generally low in mass. Ammonium and sulfate have correlated time-series and association with transport from northern Utah and the Snake River Valley. A regionally disperse and/or in situ photochemical LV-OOA source is suggested by 1) afternoon concentration enhancement not correlated with upslope winds, anthropogenic NOx, or ammonium sulfate, 2) smaller particle size, higher polydispersity, and lower levels of oxidation during the day and in comparison to a biomass burning plume inferred to have traveled ~480 km, and 3) lower degree of oxidation than is usually observed in transported urban plumes and alpine sites with transported anthropogenic OA. CHN fragment spectra suggest organic nitrogen in the form of nitriles and/or pyridines during the day, with the addition of amine fragments at night. Fires near Boise, ID may be the source of a high-concentration biomass-burning event on August 15-16, 2011 associated with SW winds (upslope from the Snake River Valley) and increased sulfate, ammonium, nitrate, and CHN and CHON fragments (nominally, amines and organonitrates). Comparison to limited historical data suggests that the amounts and sources of organics and inorganics presented here typify summer conditions in this area. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Citation: Schurman, M. I., T. Lee, Y. Desyaterik, B. A. Schichtel, S. M. Kreidenweis, and J. L. Collett, Jr. 2015. Transport, biomass burning, and in-situ formation contribute to fine particle concentrations at a remote site near Grand Teton National Park. Atmospheric Environment, v. 112, p. 257-268. 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2015.04.043.

Cataloging Information

  • aerosol mass spectrometer
  • aerosols
  • air quality
  • background
  • biomass burning
  • biomass burning
  • fire management
  • forest management
  • N - nitrogen
  • national parks
  • Organic Aerosol
  • organic nitrogen
  • particulates
  • positive matrix factorization
  • remote sensing
  • secondary organic aerosol
  • smoke management
  • source apportionment
  • wildfires
  • wind
  • Wyoming
Tall Timbers Record Number: 31498Location Status: Not in fileCall Number: AvailableAbstract Status: Okay, Fair use, Reproduced by permission
Record Last Modified:
Record Maintained By: FRAMES Staff (
FRAMES Record Number: 53942

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by Tall Timbers and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of Tall Timbers.