On the possible origin of humic matter in fine continental aerosol

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Abstract

In this paper we present a novel hypothesis for a possible formation mechanism of humic-like substances, which were shown to be ubiquitous in fine continental aerosol. It tentatively relates the formation of atmospheric humic matter to the vast pool of soil organic matter via the evaporation, condensation, and aerosol-phase polymerization of low molecular weight polar degradation products of organic debris in the soil. The theory is based on a comparative study on the chemical structure of bulk organic matter in fine aerosol and natural humic and fulvic acids and involves simplified mass flux calculations with estimated air-water equilibrium data. Although the total soil flux of all degradation products is estimated to be of the order of ng m -2s-1, which is very low and difficult to measure, it is sufficient to sustain a mass concentration comparable to that of fine organic aerosol. The results imply that the proposed formation mechanism may be a significant natural source for fine organic aerosol at continental sites. We also suppose that precursors from other anthropogenic and natural sources contribute to producing secondary humic-like polymeric matter in continental fine aerosol.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4137
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Volume107
Issue number21
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2002

Fingerprint

aerosols
Aerosols
aerosol
soils
formation mechanism
Soils
Biological materials
soil organic matter
degradation
Humic Substances
Degradation
fulvic acids
low molecular weights
humic acids
fulvic acid
products
debris
Debris
polymerization
chemical structure

Keywords

  • Formation mechanism
  • Humic matter
  • Organic aerosol
  • Polymerization
  • Soil flux
  • Sources of fine aerosol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Oceanography

Cite this

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title = "On the possible origin of humic matter in fine continental aerosol",
abstract = "In this paper we present a novel hypothesis for a possible formation mechanism of humic-like substances, which were shown to be ubiquitous in fine continental aerosol. It tentatively relates the formation of atmospheric humic matter to the vast pool of soil organic matter via the evaporation, condensation, and aerosol-phase polymerization of low molecular weight polar degradation products of organic debris in the soil. The theory is based on a comparative study on the chemical structure of bulk organic matter in fine aerosol and natural humic and fulvic acids and involves simplified mass flux calculations with estimated air-water equilibrium data. Although the total soil flux of all degradation products is estimated to be of the order of ng m -2s-1, which is very low and difficult to measure, it is sufficient to sustain a mass concentration comparable to that of fine organic aerosol. The results imply that the proposed formation mechanism may be a significant natural source for fine organic aerosol at continental sites. We also suppose that precursors from other anthropogenic and natural sources contribute to producing secondary humic-like polymeric matter in continental fine aerosol.",
keywords = "Formation mechanism, Humic matter, Organic aerosol, Polymerization, Soil flux, Sources of fine aerosol",
author = "A. Gelencs{\'e}r and A. Hoffer and Z. Kriv{\'a}csy and G. Kiss and A. Moln{\'a}r and E. M{\'e}sz{\'a}ros",
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AU - Gelencsér, A.

AU - Hoffer, A.

AU - Krivácsy, Z.

AU - Kiss, G.

AU - Molnár, A.

AU - Mészáros, E.

PY - 2002

Y1 - 2002

N2 - In this paper we present a novel hypothesis for a possible formation mechanism of humic-like substances, which were shown to be ubiquitous in fine continental aerosol. It tentatively relates the formation of atmospheric humic matter to the vast pool of soil organic matter via the evaporation, condensation, and aerosol-phase polymerization of low molecular weight polar degradation products of organic debris in the soil. The theory is based on a comparative study on the chemical structure of bulk organic matter in fine aerosol and natural humic and fulvic acids and involves simplified mass flux calculations with estimated air-water equilibrium data. Although the total soil flux of all degradation products is estimated to be of the order of ng m -2s-1, which is very low and difficult to measure, it is sufficient to sustain a mass concentration comparable to that of fine organic aerosol. The results imply that the proposed formation mechanism may be a significant natural source for fine organic aerosol at continental sites. We also suppose that precursors from other anthropogenic and natural sources contribute to producing secondary humic-like polymeric matter in continental fine aerosol.

AB - In this paper we present a novel hypothesis for a possible formation mechanism of humic-like substances, which were shown to be ubiquitous in fine continental aerosol. It tentatively relates the formation of atmospheric humic matter to the vast pool of soil organic matter via the evaporation, condensation, and aerosol-phase polymerization of low molecular weight polar degradation products of organic debris in the soil. The theory is based on a comparative study on the chemical structure of bulk organic matter in fine aerosol and natural humic and fulvic acids and involves simplified mass flux calculations with estimated air-water equilibrium data. Although the total soil flux of all degradation products is estimated to be of the order of ng m -2s-1, which is very low and difficult to measure, it is sufficient to sustain a mass concentration comparable to that of fine organic aerosol. The results imply that the proposed formation mechanism may be a significant natural source for fine organic aerosol at continental sites. We also suppose that precursors from other anthropogenic and natural sources contribute to producing secondary humic-like polymeric matter in continental fine aerosol.

KW - Formation mechanism

KW - Humic matter

KW - Organic aerosol

KW - Polymerization

KW - Soil flux

KW - Sources of fine aerosol

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