23 May 2023
 | 23 May 2023
Status: this preprint is open for discussion and under review for Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Climatology of aerosol properties at an atmospheric monitoring site on the Northern California coast

Erin K. Boedicker, Elisabeth Andrews, Patrick J. Sheridan, and Patricia K. Quinn

Abstract. Between April 2002 and June 2017, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL) made continuous measurements of a suite of in-situ aerosol optical properties at a long-term monitoring site near Trinidad Head (THD), California. In addition to aerosol optical properties, between 2002–2006 a scanning humidograph system was operated and inorganic ion and total aerosol mass concentrations were obtained from filter measurements. Combined analysis of these datasets demonstrates consistent patterns in aerosol climatology and highlights changes in sources throughout the year. THD is predictably dominated by sea salt aerosols, however, marine biogenic aerosols are the largest contributor to PM1 in the warmer months. Additionally, a persistent combustion source appears in the winter, likely a result of wintertime home heating. While the influences of local anthropogenic sources from vehicular and marine traffic are visible in the optical aerosol data, their influence is largely dictated by wind direction at the site. Comparison of the THD aerosol climatology to that reported for other marine sites shows that the location is representative of clean marine measurements, even with the periodic influence of anthropogenic sources.

Erin K. Boedicker et al.

Status: open (until 04 Jul 2023)

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Erin K. Boedicker et al.

Erin K. Boedicker et al.


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Short summary
We present 15 years of measurements from a marine site on the Northern California coast and characterize the seasonal trends of aerosol ion composition and optical properties at the site. We investigate the relationship between the chemical and optical properties and show that they both support similar seasonal variations in aerosol sources at the site. Additionally, we show through comparisons to other marine aerosol observations that the site is representative of a clean marine environment.