Size-resolved fine and ultrafine particle composition in Baltimore, Maryland

Michael P. Tolocka, Derek A. Lake, Murray V. Johnston, Anthony S. Wexler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


The third-generation real-time single-particle mass spectrometer (RSMS-3) was deployed from March to December 2002 in Baltimore, Maryland, as part of the Baltimore Particulate Matter Supersite. The site was located to the east of the downtown area and northwest of many local industrial emission sites. RSMS-3 actively sampled and analyzed over 380,000 individual particles within the 48-770 nm size range. The resulting positive and negative ion spectra for each particle were classified using a neural network algorithm, adaptive resonance theory ART 2-a. A subset of these data, particles analyzed between 1 April and 30 November 2003, is presented here. Over 99% of these particles could be described by 10 major composition types. Ambient number concentrations were determined for each type and correlated with particle size, wind direction, and time of day/year. On the basis of this information, local and regional sources of different composition classes are postulated. Almost 40% of all particles in the Baltimore aerosol are internally mixed, consisting primarily of organic carbon, ammonium nitrate, and ammonium sulfate. Most of these particles are likely derived from regional sources. The remaining particles appear to be derived mainly from local sources and processes and include elemental carbon (almost 30%), ammonium nitrate (over 10%), and various metals (over 20%). The particle composition types found in Baltimore aerosol are compared to previous measurements in Houston and Atlanta.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberD07S04
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


Dive into the research topics of 'Size-resolved fine and ultrafine particle composition in Baltimore, Maryland'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this