Sources of Urban Contemporary Carbon Aerosol

TitleSources of Urban Contemporary Carbon Aerosol
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1994
AuthorsHildemann, LM, Klinedinst, DB, Klouda, GA, Currie, LA, Cass, GR
JournalEnvironmental Science & Technology
Date PublishedSep
Accession NumberWOS:A1994PE25800011

Emissions from the major sources of fine carbonaceous aerosol in the Los Angeles basin atmosphere have been analyzed to determine the amounts of the C-12 and C-14 isotopes present. From these measurements, an inventory of the fossil carbon and contemporary carbon particle emissions to the Los Angeles atmosphere has been created. In the winter, more than half of the fine primary carbonaceous aerosol emissions are from sources containing contemporary carbon, including fireplaces, charbroilers, paved road dust, cigarette smoke, and brake lining dust, while in the summer at least one-third of the carbonaceous particle emissions are contemporary. Using a mathematical model for atmospheric transport, predictions are made of the atmospheric fine particulate fossil carbon and contemporary carbon concentrations expected due to primary source emissions. Model predictions are in reasonable agreement with the measured radiocarbon content of the fine ambient aerosol samples. It is concluded that the high fraction of contemporary carbon measured historically in Los Angeles is not due to local emission sources of biogenic material; rather, it is due to a combination of local anthropogenic pollution sources and background marine aerosol advected into the city.