The seasonality of aerosol properties in Big Bend National Park



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Texas A&M University


Two-week sampling periods during the spring, summer, and fall of 2003, and the winter of 2004 were conducted utilizing a tandem differential mobility analyzer (TDMA) and, during the spring and summer, an aerodynamic particle sizer (APS), to characterize the seasonal variability of the Big Bend regions aerosol optical properties. Mass extinction efficiencies and relative humidity scattering enhancement factors were calculated for both externally and internally mixed aerosol populations for all size distributions collected, in an effort to possibly improve upon the default EPA mass extinction efficiencies used for all Class 1 areas across the United States. The mass extinction efficiencies calculated differed to some extent form the default values employed by the EPA. Sulfate, nitrate, and light absorbing carbon (LAC) exhibited a strong dependence on assumed mixing state, while, additionally, sulfate was also dependent on the assumed dominant aerosol. Seasonal variability was seen with all particle types, excluding LAC, with sulfate mass extinction efficiencies displaying the greatest variability with season. Calculated back trajectories indicated that air masses originating from the southeast had elevated mass extinction efficiencies, while, conversely, air masses originating from the southwest and northwest had the smallest mass extinction efficiencies.