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Source apportionment of equivalent black carbon from the EMEP intensive measurement campaign during the winter 2017–2018, using PMF



Here we report absorption coefficient measurements obtained by multi-wavelength aethalometer (AE33/AE31) at regional (EMEP and ACTRIS) and urban sites across Europe for December 2017 – March 2018. We use a novel positive matrix factorization (PMF) application finding two factors, one with a low aerosol Ångstrøm exponents (AAE) factor and one with a higher AAE factor, identified as eBCLiquid fuel and eBCSolid Fuel, respectively, consistent with literature AAEs for these sources (Sandradewi et al., 2008, Zotter et al., 2017). In the current data set, we use the term eBC_bb instead of eBCSolid fuel and eBC_ff instead of eBCLiquid fuel. We have used off-line measurements of the wood burning tracer levoglucosan and EC observations to validate our approach.

Sandradewi, J., et al. 2008: Environ. Sci. Technol., 42,331 3316-3323, doi:10.1021/es702253m Zotter et al. 2017:Atmos. Chem. Phys., 17, 4229–4249,


57 sites participated in the EMEP winter 2017/18 campaign, including 4 global sites, 26 regional background sites and 27 urban background sites in 23 different 49 sites measured levoglucosan and 52 OC/EC. The eBCbb and eBCff data has an hourly time resolution, whereas levoglucosan and OC/EC range from 24 – 168 h.

The PMF apportioned fractions are reported both as absorption coefficients (Babs_bb and Babs_ff) and as mass concentrations (eBC_bb and eBC_ff). Colocated EC data was used to derive the conversion factor (MAC’), eq.1.

MAC’ = Babs/EC (eq.1)

The MAC’ value should not necessarily be interpreted as a true MAC, but accounts for lateral flow, C-factor (multiple scattering parameter) and the loading compensation. At sites where EC observations was not available, we have used instrument MAC vales (7.77 for AE33; 16.6 for AE31). eBC is derived using the MAC’ (eq. 2), the value shown in the metadata item called MAC_880nm in each data files.

eBC = Babs/MAC’ (eq.2)


The data are available free of charge for non-commercial and scientific use. By using this data, you as data user accept that an offer of co-authorship will be made through personal contact with the data providers or owners whenever substantial use is made of their data. In all cases, an acknowledgement must be made to the data providers or owners and to the project (“The EMEP intensive measurement campaign, winter 2017-2018”) when these data are used in a publication. When used, the dataset should be cited using the Digital Object Identifier (DOI).


Stephen Platt (*Correspondence to

Karl Espen Yttri (*Correspondence to

Wenche Aas (*Correspondence to

In addition, contact person for the data for each individual site and for the components is given together with the individual datasets in the datafiles.


The EMEP intensive measurement campaign, winter 2017-2018 benefited from a cooperation with the COST action COLOSSAL (Chemical On-Line cOmpoSition and Source Apportionment of fine aerosol) and the ACTRIS Research Infrastructure.


Platt, S.; Yttri, K. E.; Afif, C.; Ajtai, T.; Alados-Arboledas, L.; Alastuey, A.; Allard, J.; Amodeo, T.; Angela, M.; Aurela, M.; Ausmeel, S.; Bergmans, B.; Bernardoni, V.; Bonnaire, N.; Briel, B.; Bukowiecki, N.; Buxbaum, I.; Cataldi, M.; Chazeau, B.; Clemen, S.; Conil, S.; Daniele, C.; Davidovic, M.; Diapouli, E.; Diemoz, H.; Dzepina, K.; Eleftheriadis, K.; Favez, O.; Ferrero, L.; Fiebig, M.; Flentje, H.; Giebl, A. K.; Gille, G.; Godec, R.; Gros, V.; Hak, C.; Helin, A.; Holoubek, I.; Hueglin, C.; Huremovic, J.; Irena, J.; Jaffrezo, J.-L.; Jezeck, I.; Kalivitis, N.; Kalogridis, A.-C.; Kolesa, T.; Kouvarakis, G.; Kristensson, A.; Kulmala, M.; Lazzeri, P.; Lenartz, F.; Liakakou, E.; Lopez-Mahia, P.; Lunder, C.; Marchand, N.; Marijana, M.; Marin, C.; Marmureanu, L.; Martin, D.; Martins dos Santos, S.; Martinsson, J.; Mathews, B.; Mbengue, S.; Mihalopoulos, N.; Mocnik, G.; Mois, E.; Mueller, T.; Muniategui-Lorenzo, S.; Oikonomou, K.; Pandolfi, M.; Perez, N.; Petaja, T.; Petit, J.-E.; Pikridas, M.; Piñeiro-Iglesias, M.; Pittavino, S.; Prevot. A.; Putaud, J.P.; Riffault, V.; Sauvage, S.; von Schneidemesser, E.; Sciare, J.; Skiba, A.; Spindler, G.; Stefania, G.; Styszko, K.; Teinemaa, E.; Titos, G.; Tobler, A.; Tombolato, I.; Topalovic, D.; Tsagaraki, M.; Tuch, T.; Ulevicius, V.; Vella, A.; Villani, P.; Virkkula, A.; Weber, S.; Lin, Y.; Aas, W.: Source apportionment of equivalent black carbon from the winter 2017–2018 EMEP intensive measurement campaign using PMF.


Platt, S. M., et al.: Source apportionment of equivalent black carbon from the EMEP intensive measurement campaign, winter 2017-2018 using PMF, in preparation, 2022

There are some preliminary results presented in the following EMEP status reports:

  • EMEP (2018) Transboundary particulate matter, photo-oxidants, acidifying and eutrophying components. Joint MSC-W & CCC & CEIP.EMEP Status report (1/2018). URL:
  • EMEP (2019) Transboundary particulate matter, photo-oxidants, acidifying and eutrophying components. Joint MSC-W & CCC & CEIP.EMEP Status report (1/2019). URL:


There is one datafile (in NasaAmes format: per station and per component group. At some sites there are different files for data in 2017 and 2018, and at some sites the organics are measured in several PM fractions (i.e., PM10, PM2.5, PM1). The files are divided in two folders: one for for Babs_bb and Babs_ff/eBC_bb and eBC_ff and one for levoglucosan and OC/EC.There is also one excel file with an overview of the measurement done at each site, their coordinates, and PIs for the different sites

Click this link to access the data