Carbonaceous aerosol at urban and rural sites in the United States

Jitendra J. Shah, Richard L. Johnson, Emily K. Heyerdahl, James J. Huntzicker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


This paper presents the results of over 1300 measurements of organic and elemental carbon in aerosol samples from both urban and rural sites across the United States. These samples were filter segments obtained from the National Air Surveillance Networks for the year 1975. Urban annual averages of organic carbon ranged from 2.7 to 13.4 μgC/m3and rural averages ranged from 1.2 to 3.4 μgC/m3. Organic carbon accounted for an average of 8 percent of the total aerosol mass at both urban and rural sites. Urban annual averages of elemental carbon ranged from 0.9 to 7.7 μgC/m3and rural averages ranged from 0.3 to 2.2 μgC/m3. Elemental carbon accounted for an average of 5 percent of the urban aerosol mass concentration and 4 percent of the rural mass concentration. Cities with total carbon concentrations of more than 15 μgC/m3were Burbank (California), Dallas, New York, and Phoenix. Combustion was indicated as the principal source of organic aerosol.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)254-257
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the Air Pollution Control Association
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • General Environmental Science
  • Pollution
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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