11 Oct 2023
 | 11 Oct 2023

A new software toolkit for optical apportionment of carbonaceous aerosol

Tommaso Isolabella, Vera Bernardoni, Alessandro Bigi, Marco Brunoldi, Federico Mazzei, Franco Parodi, Paolo Prati, VIrginia Vernocchi, and Dario Massabò

Abstract. Instruments measuring aerosol light absorption, such as the Aethalometer and the Multi-Wavelength Absorbance Analyzer (MWAA), have been extensively used to characterize optical absorption of atmospheric particulate matter. Data retrieved with such instruments can be analysed with mathematical models to apportion different aerosol sources (Aethalometer model) and components (MWAA model). In this work we present an upgrade to the MWAA optical apportionment model. In addition to the apportionment of the absorption coefficient babs in its components (Black Carbon and Brown Carbon) and sources (Fossil Fuel and Wood Burning), the extended model allows the retrieval of the Absorption Ångström Exponent of each component and source, thereby avoiding initial assumptions regarding these parameters. We also present a new open-source software toolkit, the MWAA Model Toolkit, written in both Python and R, that performs the entire apportionment procedure.

Tommaso Isolabella et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-1936', Anonymous Referee #1, 04 Nov 2023
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC1', Federico Mazzei, 30 Nov 2023
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-1936', Anonymous Referee #2, 12 Nov 2023
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC2', Federico Mazzei, 30 Nov 2023

Tommaso Isolabella et al.

Tommaso Isolabella et al.


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Short summary
We present an innovative software toolkit to discriminate the sources of carbonaceous aerosol in the atmosphere. Our toolkit implements an upgraded mathematical model which allows the determination of fundamental optical properties of the aerosol, its sources and the mass concentration of different carbonaceous species of particulate matter. We have tested the functionality of the software by re-analysing published data, and we obtained a compatible results with additional information.