skip to main content

Title: Two-Column Aerosol Project (TCAP) Field Campaign Report

This study included the deployment of the Department of Energy (DOE) Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facility’s Mobile Facility (AMF), ARM Mobile Aerosol Observing System (MAOS) and the ARM Aerial Facility (AAF). The study was a collaborative effort involving scientists from DOE national laboratories, NOAA, NASA, and universities. The AAF and MAOS were deployed for two approximately month-long Intensive Operational Periods (IOPs) conducted in June 2012 and February 2013. Seasonal differences in the aerosol chemical and optical properties observed using the AMF, AAF, and MAOS are presented in this report. The total mass loading of aerosol is found to be much greater in the summer than in the winter, with the difference associated with greater amounts of organic aerosol. The mass fraction of organic aerosol is much reduced in the winter, when sulfate is the dominant aerosol type. Surprisingly, very little sea-salt aerosol was observed in the summer. In contrast, much more sea salt aerosol was observed in the winter. The mass loading of black carbon is nearly the same in both seasons. These differences lead to a relative increase in the aerosol light absorption in the winter and an associated decrease in observed single-scattering albedo. Measurements of aerosolmore » mixing state were made using a single-particle mass spectrometer, which showed that the majority of the summertime aerosol consisted of organic compounds mixed with various amounts of sulfate. A number of other findings are also summarized in the report, including: impact of aerosol layers aloft on the column aerosol optical depth; documentation of the aerosol properties at the AMF; differences in the aerosol properties associated with both columns, which are not systematic but reflect the complicated meteorological and chemical processes that impact aerosol as it is advected away from North America; and new instruments and data-processing techniques for measuring both aerosol and cloud properties that were deployed for the first time during the TCAP. Key lessons learned during TCAP include the need for closer coordination between the AMF, MAOS, and the AAF so that all AMF instruments can be online and functioning during the AAF IOPs. Based on experiences from TCAP, it is also important for instrument mentors, or other relevant individuals, to review data on a regular basis to ensure that data quality remains high during the entire deployment. TCAP was marked by two important meteorological events including the passage of Hurricane Sandy at the end of October 2012 and the occurrence of one of the largest New England blizzards in recorded history. During Sandy the AMF received some, generally minor, damage and was largely functional a short time after the storm. The blizzard led to extensive power outages on Cape Cod and a multi-day interruption of measurements by the AMF, MAOS, and AAF. In each case, however, the ARM Facilities were returned to service and functioning as soon as was reasonably possible.« less
  1. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
DOE ARM Climate Research Facility, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA
Research Org:
DOE Office of Science Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
Contributing Orgs:
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Silver Spring, MD (United States); National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Washington D.C. (United States)
Country of Publication:
United States
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; aerosol properties, cloud properties, sea salt, black carbon, organic aerosol