Size-resolved biogenic secondary organic aerosols (BSOA) derived from isoprene and monoterpene photooxidation in Qinghai Lake, Tibetan Plateau (a continental background site) and five cities of China were measured using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). Concentrations of the determined BSOA are higher in the cities than in the background and are also higher in summer than in winter. Moreover, strong positive correlations (R2 = 0.44–0.90) between BSOA and sulfate were found at the six sites, suggesting that anthropogenic pollution (i.e., sulfate) could enhance SOA formation, because sulfate provides a surface favorable for acid-catalyzed formation of BSOA. Size distribution measurements showed that most of the determined SOA tracers are enriched in the fine mode (< 3.3 μm) except for cis-pinic and cis-pinonic acids, both presented a comparable mass in the fine and coarse (> 3.3 μm) modes, respectively. Mass ratio of oxidation products derived from isoprene to those from monoterpene in the five urban regions during summer are much less than those in Qinghai Lake region. In addition, in the five urban regions relative abundances of monoterpene oxidation products to SOA are much higher than those of isoprene. Such phenomena suggest that BSOA derived from monoterpenes are more abundant than those from isoprene in Chinese urban areas.
- Biogenic secondary organic aerosols
- Photochemical oxidation
- Seasonal and spatial variations
- Size distribution