Xiaoxi Liu, Georgia Institute of Technology
L. Gregory Huey, Georgia Institute of Technology
Robert J. Yokelson, University of Montana
Vanessa Selimovic, University of Montana
Isobel J. Simpson, University of California, Irvine
Markus Müller, University of Montana
Jose L. Jimenez, University of Colorado Boulder
Pedro Campuzano-Jost, University of Colorado Boulder
Andreas J. Beyersdorf, NASA Langley Research Center
Donald R. Blake, University of California, Irvine
Zachary Butterfield, Los Alamos National Laboratory
Yonghoon Choi, NASA Langley Research Center
John D. Crounse, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences
Douglas A. Day, University of Colorado Boulder
Glenn S. Diskin, NASA Langley Research Center
Manvendra K. Dubey, Los Alamos National Laboratory
Edward Fortner, Aerodyne Research, Inc.
Thomas F. Hanisco, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Weiwei Hu, University of Colorado Boulder
Laura E. King, Georgia Institute of Technology
Lawrence Kleinman, Brookhaven National Laboratory
Simone Meinardi, University of California, Irvine
Tomas Mikoviny, Universitetet i Oslo
Timothy B. Onasch, Aerodyne Research, Inc.
Brett B. Palm, University of Colorado Boulder
Jeff Peischl, University of Colorado Boulder
Ilana B. Pollack, University of Colorado Boulder
Thomas B. Ryerson, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Glen W. Sachse, NASA Langley Research Center
Arthur J. Sedlacek, Brookhaven National Laboratory
John E. Shilling, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Stephen Springston, Brookhaven National Laboratory
Jason M. St. Clair, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences

Document Type


Publication Title

Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres

Publication Date







Biochemistry | Chemistry | Life Sciences | Physical Sciences and Mathematics


Wildfires emit significant amounts of pollutants that degrade air quality. Plumes from three wildfires in the western U.S. were measured from aircraft during the Studies of Emissions and Atmospheric Composition, Clouds and Climate Coupling by Regional Surveys (SEAC4RS) and the Biomass Burning Observation Project (BBOP), both in summer 2013. This study reports an extensive set of emission factors (EFs) for over 80 gases and 5 components of submicron particulate matter (PM1) from these temperate wildfires. These include rarely, or never before, measured oxygenated volatile organic compounds and multifunctional organic nitrates. The observed EFs are compared with previous measurements of temperate wildfires, boreal forest fires, and temperate prescribed fires. The wildfires emitted high amounts of PM1 (with organic aerosol (OA) dominating the mass) with an average EF that is more than 2 times the EFs for prescribed fires. The measured EFs were used to estimate the annual wildfire emissions of carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, total nonmethane organic compounds, and PM1 from 11 western U.S. states. The estimated gas emissions are generally comparable with the 2011 National Emissions Inventory (NEI). However, our PM1 emission estimate (1530 ± 570 Gg yr-1) is over 3 times that of the NEI PM2.5 estimate and is also higher thanthe PM2.5 emitted from all other sources in these states in the NEI. This study indicates that the source of OA from biomass burning in the western states is significantly underestimated. In addition, our results indicate that prescribed burning may be an effective method to reduce fine particle emissions.



©2016 American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

089_jgrd53804-sup-0001-supplementary.pdf (1976 kB)
Supplemental information