Piyaporn Sricharoenvech1, Ross Edwards This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.2, Müge Yaşar1, David Gay2,3, James J. Schauer1,2 

1 Environmental Chemistry and Technology Program, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706, USA
2 Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706, USA
3 National Atmospheric Deposition Program, 465 Henry Mall, Madison, WI 53706, USA

Received: April 17, 2023
Revised: November 20, 2023
Accepted: November 21, 2023

 Copyright The Author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are cited.

Download Citation: ||https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.230089  

Cite this article:

Sricharoenvech, P., Edwards, R., Yaşar, M., Gay, D., Schauer, J.J. (2024). Investigation of Black Carbon Wet Deposition to the United States from National Atmospheric Deposition Network Samples. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.230089


  • BC determined in North American NADP-NTN wet deposition monitoring network samples.
  • Analysis of BC by single-particle intracavity laser-induced incandescence (SP2).
  • Study analyzed 478 samples (202 sites) from October 26th to December 1st, 2020.
  • Monitoring BC in NADP-NTN wet deposition samples by SP2 is feasible.
  • BC variability consistent with BC from biomass burning sources.


Black carbon (BC) aerosols from burning biomass, fossil fuels, and waste are transported over large distances in the Earth's atmosphere, absorbing sunlight, altering climate, and impacting air quality. These aerosols are relatively short-lived in the troposphere and are returned to the surface by wet and dry deposition processes. Although wet deposition is considered the primary mechanism for removing BC from the atmosphere, published data is exceptionally scarce. In this study, we investigated the feasibility of determining BC wet deposition on a national/international scale using samples from the US National Atmospheric Deposition Program (NADP). The study investigated BC concentrations in precipitation by single-particle laser-induced incandescence (SP2). An intra-instrumental comparison with Thermal Optical Analysis (TOA). From October 26th to December 1st, 2020, we analyzed 478 NADP wet deposition samples from 209 locations, including sites in the United States, Canada and US territories, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. Wet deposition BC concentrations varied from less than 0.3 µg L-1 to 38.7 µg L-1 with a median of 3.50 µg L-1. Associated BC wet deposition fluxes ranged from near zero to 9.1 g ha-1 wk-1, with a median of 0.87 g ha-1 wk-1. An analysis of the spatial variability indicated a pattern of higher BC deposition through the central United States consistent with BC transport from biomass burning during the sampling period.

Keywords: Black carbon, Wet deposition, National Atmospheric Deposition Program, Precipitation chemistry

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