Browsing by Subject "Welgegund"

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  • Booyens, Wanda; Beukes, Johan P.; Van Zyl, Pieter G.; Ruiz-Jimenez, Jose; Kopperi, Matias; Riekkola, Marja-Liisa; Josipovic, Miroslav; Vakkari, Ville; Laakso, Lauri (2019)
    A recent paper reported GCxGC-TOFMS analysis used for the first time in southern Africa to tentatively characterise and semi-quantify 1000 organic compounds in aerosols at Welgegund - a regional background atmospheric monitoring station. Ambient polar organic aerosols characterised are further explored in terms of temporal variations, as well as the influence of meteorology and sources. No distinct seasonal pattern was observed for the total number of polar organic compounds tentatively characterised and their corresponding semi-quantified concentrations (sum of the normalised response factors, Sigma NRFs). However, the total number of polar organic compounds and Sigma NRFs between late spring and early autumn seemed relatively lower compared to the period from mid-autumn to mid-winter, while there was a period during late winter and early spring with significantly lower total number of polar organic compounds and Sigma NRFs. Relatively lower total number of polar organic compounds and corresponding Sigma NRFs were associated with fresher plumes from a source region relatively close to Welgegund. Meteorological parameters indicated that wet removal during late spring to early autumn also contributed to lower total numbers of polar organics and associated Sigma NRFs. Increased anticyclonic recirculation and more pronounced inversion layers contributed to higher total numbers of polar organic species and Sigma NRFs from mid-autumn to mid-winter, while the influence of regional biomass burning during this period was also evident. The period with significantly lower total number of polar organic compounds and Sigma NRFs was attributed to fresh open biomass burning plumes occurring within proximity of Welgegund, consisting mainly of volatile organic compounds and non-polar hydrocarbons. Multiple linear regression substantiated that the temporal variations in polar organic compounds were related to a combination of the factors investigated in this study.
  • Booyens, Wanda; Van Zyl, Pieter G.; Beukes, Johan P.; Ruiz-Jimenez, Jose; Kopperi, Matias; Riekkola, Marja-Liisa; Vakkari, Ville; Josipovic, Miroslav; Kulmala, Markku; Laakso, Lauri (2019)
    Although atmospheric organic N compounds are considered to be important, especially in new particle formation and their contribution to brown carbon, these species are not that well understood. This can be partially attributed to their chemical complexity. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the characteristics of organic N compounds utilising comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography coupled with a time-of-flight mass spectrometer (GCxGC-TOFMS) in aerosol samples that were collected at a savanna-grassland background region and to determine the possible sources. 135 atmospheric organic N compounds were tentatively characterised and semi-quantified, which included amines, nitriles, amides, urea, pyridine derivatives, amino acids, nitro-and nitroso compounds, imines, cyanates and isocyanates, and azo compounds. Amines contributed to 51% of the semi-quantified concentrations, while nitriles, pyridine derivatives, and amides comprised 20%, 11%, and 8%, respectively, of the semi-quantified concentrations. Amines, nitriles, amides, and pyridine derivatives concentrations were higher during the dry season, which were attributed to meteorology and open biomass burning. Anthropogenic sources impacting air masses measured at Welgegund, as well as regional agricultural activities, were considered as the major sources of amines, while the regional influence of household combustion was most likely the main source of nitriles, amides, and pyridine derivatives. The other organic N species were most likely related to the influence of local and regional agricultural activities.
  • Kok, L.; van Zyl, P. G.; Beukes, J. P.; Swartz, J-S; Burger, R. P.; Ellis, Suria; Josipovic, M.; Vakkari, V.; Laakso, L.; Kulmala, M. (2021)
    Relatively limited data have been published on the chemical composition of wet deposition for South Africa, which is considered an important source region for atmospheric pollutants. Concentrations and wet deposition fluxes of ionic species determined in rain samples collected from December 2014 to April 2018 at a regional site, Welgegund, are presented, and contextualised by wet deposition composition in the northeastern interior of South Africa. 89% of rain samples collected during the sampling period complied with the data quality objectives of the World Meteorological Organisation. The total ionic concentration of rainwater at Welgegund was similar to that at two regional sites located within proximity of industrial activities. The pH of rainwater (4.80) was comparable to that determined at two rural background sites, which indicated increased neutralisation. Similarly to the other sites located in the South African interior, SO42- was the most abundant species in rain, with concentrations thereof in the same order as SO42- levels determined at the two industrially influenced sites. Lower sulphur and nitrogen fluxes at Welgegund were attributed to lower average annual rainfall. The anthropogenic (industrial) source group had the largest contribution to wet deposition chemical composition, which signified the influence of major source regions in the South African interior that impact Welgegund. Relatively large contributions were also calculated from marine and crustal sources. The influence of agricultural activities was also evident, while biomass burning had the lowest contribution due to open biomass burning occurring mainly during the dry season
  • Venter, Andrew D.; van Zyl, Pieter G.; Beukes, Johan P.; Swartz, Jan-Stefan; Josipovic, Miroslav; Vakkari, Ville; Laakso, Lauri; Kulmala, Markku (2018)
    Aerosols consist of organic and inorganic species, and the composition and concentration of these species depends on their sources, chemical transformation and sinks. In this study an assessment of major inorganic ions determined in three aerosol particle size ranges collected for 1year at Welgegund in South Africa was conducted. SO42- and ammonium (NH4+) dominated the PM1 size fraction, while SO42- and nitrate (NO3) dominated the PM1-2.5 and PM2.5-10 size fractions. SO42- had the highest contribution in the two smaller size fractions, while NO3- had the highest contribution in the PM2.5-10 size fraction. SO42- and NO3- levels were attributed to the impacts of aged air masses passing over major anthropogenic source regions. Comparison of inorganic ion concentrations to levels thereof within a source region influencing Welgegund, indicated higher levels of most species within the source region. However, the comparative ratio of SO42- was significantly lower due to SO42- being formed distant from SO2 emissions and submicron SO42- having longer atmospheric residencies. The PM at Welgegund was determined to be acidic, mainly due to high concentrations of SO42-. PM1 and PM1-2.5 fractions revealed a seasonal pattern, with higher inorganic ion concentrations measured from May to September. Higher concentrations were attributed to decreased wet removal, more pronounced inversion layers trapping pollutants, and increases in household combustion and wild fires during winter. Back trajectory analysis also revealed higher concentrations of inorganic ionic species corresponding to air mass movements over anthropogenic source regions.
  • Laban, Tracey Leah; Van Zyl, Pieter Gideon; Beukes, Johan Paul; Mikkonen, Santtu; Santana, Leonard; Josipovic, Miroslav; Vakkari, Ville; Thompson, Anne M.; Kulmala, Markku; Laakso, Lauri (2020)
    Statistical relationships between surface ozone (O-3) concentration, precursor species and meteorological conditions in continental South Africa were examined from data obtained from measurement stations in north-eastern South Africa. Three multivariate statistical methods were applied in the investigation, i.e. multiple linear regression (MLR), principal component analysis (PCA) and -regression (PCR), and generalised additive model (GAM) analysis. The daily maximum 8-h moving average O-3 concentrations were considered in these statistical models (dependent variable). MLR models indicated that meteorology and precursor species concentrations are able to explain similar to 50% of the variability in daily maximum O-3 levels. MLR analysis revealed that atmospheric carbon monoxide (CO), temperature and relative humidity were the strongest factors affecting the daily O-3 variability. In summer, daily O-3 variances were mostly associated with relative humidity, while winter O-3 levels were mostly linked to temperature and CO. PCA indicated that CO, temperature and relative humidity were not strongly collinear. GAM also identified CO, temperature and relative humidity as the strongest factors affecting the daily variation of O-3. Partial residual plots found that temperature, radiation and nitrogen oxides most likely have a non-linear relationship with O-3,while the relationship with relative humidity and CO is probably linear. An inter-comparison between O-3 levels modelled with the three statistical models compared to measured O-3 concentrations showed that the GAM model offered a slight improvement over the MLR model. These findings emphasise the critical role of regional-scale O-3 precursors coupled with meteorological conditions in daily variances of O-3 levels in continental South Africa.