Measurement report: Fourteen months of real-time characterisation of the submicronic aerosol and its atmospheric dynamics at the Marseille-Longchamp supersite


  • Chazeau Benjamin
  • Temime-Roussel Brice
  • Gille Grégory
  • Mesbah Boualem
  • d'Anna Barbara
  • Wortham Henri
  • Marchand Nicolas

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This study reports results of PM1 chemical composition determined using a Time-of-Flight Aerosol Chemical Speciation Monitor (ToF-ACSM) over a 14-month period (1 February 2017–13 April 2018) at the Marseille–Longchamp supersite (MRS-LCP) in France. Parallel measurements were performed with an aethalometer, an ultrafine particle monitor and a suite of instruments to monitor regulated pollutants (PM2.5, PM10, NOx, O3 and SO2). The average PM1 chemical composition over the period was dominated by organic aerosol (OA; 49.7 %) and black carbon (BC; 17.1 %), while sulfate accounted for 14.6 %, nitrate for 10.2 %, ammonium for 7.9 % and chloride for 0.5 % only. Wintertime was found to be the season contributing the most to the annual PM1 mass concentration (30 %), followed by autumn (26 %), summer (24 %) and spring (20 %). During this season, OA and BC concentrations were found to contribute 32 % and 31 % of their annual concentrations, respectively, as a combined result of heavy urban traffic, high emissions from residential heating and low planetary boundary layer (PBL) height. Most (75 %) of the 15 days exceeding the target daily PM2.5 concentration value recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) occurred during this season. Local and long-range pollution episodes with contrasting chemical composition could be distinguished, accounting for 40 % and 60 % of the exceedance days, respectively. Enhanced OA and BC concentrations, mostly originating from domestic wood burning under nocturnal land breeze conditions, were observed during local pollution episodes, while high levels of oxygenated OA and inorganic nitrate were associated with medium-/long-range transported particles. In summertime, substantially higher concentrations of sulfate were found, with an average and a maximum contribution to the PM1 mass of 24 % and 66 %, respectively. Results from k-means clustering analysis of daily profiles of sulfate concentrations clearly reveal the significant influence of local harbour/industrial activities on air quality in addition to the more regional contribution of shipping traffic that originates from the Mediterranean basin.

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