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Chemosphere. 2006 Jan;62(3):337-48. Epub 2005 Jun 28.

Particulate carbon measurements in California's San Joaquin Valley.

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  • 1Desert Research Institute, 2215 Raggio Parkway, Reno, NV 89512-1095, USA.


Aerosol carbon sampling methods and biases were evaluated during the California Regional PM10/PM2.5 Air Quality Study (CRPAQS) and Fresno Supersite programs. PM2.5 sampling was conducted using Desert Research Institute (DRI) sequential filter samplers (SFS) from December 1999 through February 2001 at two urban sites (Fresno and Bakersfield), one regional transport site (Angiola), and two boundary sites (Bethel Island and Sierra Nevada Foothills) during CRPAQS in the San Joaquin Valley (SJV). Additional filter-based sampling was done in Fresno as part of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Supersites program. Organic carbon (OC) and elemental carbon (EC) concentrations were higher during winter (December-February) than summer (June-August) and this trend was most pronounced at Fresno and Bakersfield. OC and EC displayed similar diurnal trends during winter and summer at Fresno and during winter at Angiola. The diurnal pattern at Angiola reflected the transport of secondary pollutants to the site. Collocated measurements of OC and EC on undenuded quartz-fiber filters were made at Fresno with the DRI SFS and the Andersen FRM and RAAS samplers. All average differences in OC between samplers were less than their respective measurement uncertainties. Positive and negative OC biases were evaluated at Fresno using the Andersen RAAS sampler with carbon-denuded and undenuded channels with Teflon-membrane and quartz-fiber filter pairs. Differences between the denuded particle OC and that obtained by subtracting the quartz-behind-Teflon or quartz-behind-quartz OC from the undenuded quartz-fiber front filter were less than twice their measurement uncertainties in most cases. Particulate OC in the denuded channel agreed most closely with the difference between undenuded front and backup quartz-fiber OC.

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