Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Climate Research Facility US Department of Energy



Chemical Imaging of Atmospheric Organic Particles

15 June 2017 - 20 February 2018

Lead Scientist: Ryan Moffet

Observatory: ENA

Uncertainty in aerosol processes produces considerable uncertainty in predictions of future climate. To reduce this uncertainty, models must be able to represent aerosol processes accurately—a task that is difficult given limited knowledge of source contribution and physical properties.

To aid in further understanding aerosol processes, measurements must be made around the globe in a variety of different environments. To this end, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) ARM has established a long-term measurement site in the Eastern North Atlantic (ENA) on Graciosa Island in the Azores.

Two upcoming intensive operational periods (IOPs), implementing both aircraft and ground-based measurement approaches, will be carried out in the Azores. Here, scientists aim to characterize the physical and chemical properties of particles collected during these two IOPs.

Participating scientists employed a suite of chemical imaging techniques (electron and X-Ray microscopies) to characterize the chemical composition and morphology of atmospheric particles that have been collected on a variety of substrates. Further analysis was also done to characterize the water uptake properties (liquid and ice) using laboratory measurements.

These studies were strengthened by the extensive data set collected during the IOPs, as well as the long-term records at the ENA observatory.


Mary Gilles
Daniel Knopf
Alexander Laskin
Jian Wang