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    Overview of the synoptic and pollution situation over Europe during the EUCAARI-LONGREX field campaign
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2011) Hamburger, T.; McMeeking, G.; Minikin, A.; Birmili, W.; Dall'Osto, M.; O'Dowd, C.; Flentje, H.; Henzing, B.; Junninen, H.; Kristensson, A.; de Leeuw, G.; Stohl, A.; Burkhart, J.F.; Coe, H.; Krejci, R.; Petzold, A.
    In May 2008 the EUCAARI-LONGREX aircraft field campaign was conducted within the EUCAARI intensive observational period. The campaign aimed at studying the distribution and evolution of air mass properties on a continental scale. Airborne aerosol and trace gas measurements were performed aboard the German DLR Falcon 20 and the British FAAM BAe-146 aircraft. This paper outlines the meteorological situation over Europe during May 2008 and the temporal and spatial evolution of predominantly anthropogenic particulate pollution inside the boundary layer and the free troposphere. Time series data of six selected ground stations are used to discuss continuous measurements besides the single flights. The observations encompass total and accumulation mode particle number concentration (0.1–0.8 μm) and black carbon mass concentration as well as several meteorological parameters. Vertical profiles of total aerosol number concentration up to 10 km are compared to vertical profiles probed during previous studies. During the first half of May 2008 an anticyclonic blocking event dominated the weather over Central Europe. It led to increased pollutant concentrations within the centre of the high pressure inside the boundary layer. Due to long-range transport the accumulated pollution was partly advected towards Western and Northern Europe. The measured aerosol number concentrations over Central Europe showed in the boundary layer high values up to 14 000 cm−3 for particles in diameter larger 10 nm and 2300 cm−3 for accumulation mode particles during the high pressure period, whereas the middle free troposphere showed rather low concentrations of particulates. Thus a strong negative gradient of aerosol concentrations between the well mixed boundary layer and the clean middle troposphere occurred.
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    On the abundance and source contributions of dicarboxylic acids in size-resolved aerosol particles at continental sites in central Europe
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2014) van Pinxteren, D.; Neusüß, C.; Herrmann, H.
    Dicarboxylic acids (DCAs) are among the most abundant organic compounds observed in atmospheric aerosol particles and have been extensively studied at many places around the world. The importance of the various primary sources and secondary formation pathways discussed in the literature is often difficult to assess from field studies, though. In the present study, a large data set of size-resolved DCA concentrations from several inland sites in Germany is combined with results from a recently developed approach of statistical back-trajectory analysis and additional data. Principal component analysis is then used to reveal the most important factors governing the abundance of DCAs in different particle size ranges. The two most important sources revealed are (i) photochemical formation during intense radiation days in polluted air masses, likely occurring in the gas phase on short timescales (gasSOA), and (ii) secondary reactions in anthropogenically influenced air masses, likely occurring in the aqueous phase on longer timescales (aqSOA). While the first source strongly impacts DCA concentrations mainly in small and large particles, the second one enhances accumulation mode DCAs and is responsible for the bulk of the observed concentrations. Primary sources were found to be minor (sea salt, soil resuspension) or non-existent (biomass burning, traffic). The results can be regarded as representative for typical central European continental conditions.
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    A parameterization of low visibilities for hazy days in the North China Plain
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2012) Chen, J.; Zhao, C.S.; Ma, N.; Liu, P.F.; Göbel, T.; Hallbauer, E.; Deng, Z.Z.; Ran, L.; Xu, W.Y.; Liang, Z.; Liu, H.J.; Yan, P.; Zhou, X.J.; Wiedensohler, A.
    Visibility degradation is a pervasive and urgent environmental problem in China. The occurrence of low visibility events is frequent in the North China Plain, where the aerosol loading is quite high and aerosols are strongly hygroscopic. A parameterization of light extinction (Kex) for low visibilities on hazy days is proposed in this paper, based on visibility, relative humidity (RH), aerosol hygroscopic growth factors and particle number size distributions measured during the Haze in China (HaChi) Project. Observational results show that a high aerosol volume concentration is responsible for low visibility at RH <90%; while for RH >90%, decrease of visibility is mainly influenced by the increase of RH. The parameterization of Kex is developed on the basis of aerosol volume concentrations and RH, taking into accounts the sensitivity of visibility to the two factors and the availability of corresponding data. The extinction coefficients calculated with the parameterization schemes agree well with the directly measured values.
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    Formation and growth of nucleated particles into cloud condensation nuclei: Model-measurement comparison
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2013) Westervelt, D.M.; Pierce, J.R.; Riipinen, I.; Trivitayanurak, W.; Hamed, A.; Kulmala, M.; Laaksonen, A.; Decesari, S.; Adams, P.J.
    Aerosol nucleation occurs frequently in the atmosphere and is an important source of particle number. Observations suggest that nucleated particles are capable of growing to sufficiently large sizes that they act as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN), but some global models have reported that CCN concentrations are only modestly sensitive to large changes in nucleation rates. Here we present a novel approach for using long-term size distribution observations to evaluate a global aerosol model's ability to predict formation rates of CCN from nucleation and growth events. We derive from observations at five locations nucleation-relevant metrics such as nucleation rate of particles at diameter of 3 nm (J3), diameter growth rate (GR), particle survival probability (SP), condensation and coagulation sinks, and CCN formation rate (J100). These quantities are also derived for a global microphysical model, GEOS-Chem-TOMAS, and compared to the observations on a daily basis. Using GEOS-Chem-TOMAS, we simulate nucleation events predicted by ternary (with a 10−5 tuning factor) or activation nucleation over one year and find that the model slightly understates the observed annual-average CCN formation mostly due to bias in the nucleation rate predictions, but by no more than 50% in the ternary simulations. At the two locations expected to be most impacted by large-scale regional nucleation, Hyytiälä and San Pietro Capofiume, predicted annual-average CCN formation rates are within 34 and 2% of the observations, respectively. Model-predicted annual-average growth rates are within 25% across all sites but also show a slight tendency to underestimate the observations, at least in the ternary nucleation simulations. On days that the growing nucleation mode reaches 100 nm, median single-day survival probabilities to 100 nm for the model and measurements range from less than 1–6% across the five locations we considered; however, this does not include particles that may eventually grow to 100 nm after the first day. This detailed exploration of new particle formation and growth dynamics adds support to the use of global models as tools for assessing the contribution of microphysical processes such as nucleation to the total number and CCN budget.
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    Aerosol hygroscopicity derived from size-segregated chemical composition and its parameterization in the North China Plain
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2014) Liu, H.J.; Zhao, C.S.; Nekat, B.; Ma, N.; Wiedensohler, A.; van Pinxteren, D.; Spindler, G.; Müller, K.; Herrmann, H.
    Hygroscopic growth of aerosol particles is of significant importance in quantifying the aerosol radiative effect in the atmosphere. In this study, hygroscopic properties of ambient particles are investigated based on particle chemical composition at a suburban site in the North China Plain during the HaChi campaign (Haze in China) in summer 2009. The size-segregated aerosol particulate mass concentration as well as the particle components such as inorganic ions, organic carbon and water-soluble organic carbon (WSOC) are identified from aerosol particle samples collected with a ten-stage impactor. An iterative algorithm is developed to evaluate the hygroscopicity parameter κ from the measured chemical composition of particles. During the HaChi summer campaign, almost half of the mass concentration of particles between 150 nm and 1 μm is contributed by inorganic species. Organic matter (OM) is abundant in ultrafine particles, and 77% of the particulate mass with diameter (Dp) of around 30 nm is composed of OM. A large fraction of coarse particle mass is undetermined and is assumed to be insoluble mineral dust and liquid water. The campaign's average size distribution of κ values shows three distinct modes: a less hygroscopic mode (Dp < 150 nm) with κ slightly above 0.2, a highly hygroscopic mode (150 nm < Dp < 1 μm) with κ greater than 0.3 and a nearly hydrophobic mode (Dp > 1 μm) with κ of about 0.1. The peak of the κ curve appears around 450 nm with a maximum value of 0.35. The derived κ values are consistent with results measured with a high humidity tandem differential mobility analyzer within the size range of 50–250 nm. Inorganics are the predominant species contributing to particle hygroscopicity, especially for particles between 150 nm and 1 μm. For example, NH4NO3, H2SO4, NH4HSO4 and (NH4)2SO4 account for nearly 90% of κ for particles of around 900 nm. For ultrafine particles, WSOC plays a critical role in particle hygroscopicity due to the predominant mass fraction of OM in ultrafine particles. WSOC for particles of around 30 nm contribute 52% of κ. Aerosol hygroscopicity is related to synoptic transport patterns. When southerly wind dominates, particles are more hygroscopic; when northerly wind dominates, particles are less hygroscopic. Aerosol hygroscopicity also has a diurnal variation, which can be explained by the diurnal evolution of planetary boundary layer, photochemical aging processes during daytime and enhanced black carbon emission at night. κ is highly correlated with mass fractions of SO42−, NO3− and NH4+ for all sampled particles as well as with the mass fraction of WSOC for particles of less than 100 nm. A parameterization scheme for κ is developed using mass fractions of SO42−, NO3−, NH4+ and WSOC due to their high correlations with κ, and κ calculated from the parameterization agrees well with κ derived from the particle's chemical composition. Further analysis shows that the parameterization scheme is applicable to other aerosol studies in China.
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    Seasonal and diurnal variations of particulate nitrate and organic matter at the IfT research station Melpitz
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2011) Poulain, L.; Spindler, G.; Birmili, W.; Plass-Dülmer, C.; Weinhold, K.; Wiedensohler, A.; Herrmann, H.
    Ammonium nitrate and several organic compounds such as dicarboxylic acids (e.g. succinic acid, glutaric acid), some Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon (PAHs) or some n-alkanes are semi-volatile. The transition of these compounds between the gas and particulate phase may significantly change the aerosol particles radiative properties, the heterogeneous chemical properties, and, naturally, the total particulate mass concentration. To better assess these time-dependent effects, three intensive field experiments were conducted in 2008–2009 at the Central European EMEP research station Melpitz (Germany) using an Aerodyne Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (AMS). Data from all seasons highlight organic matter as being the most important particulate fraction of PM1 in summer (59%) while in winter, the nitrate fraction was more prevalent (34.4%). The diurnal variation of nitrate always showed the lowest concentration during the day while its concentration increased during the night. This night increase of nitrate concentration was higher in winter (ΔNO3− = 3.6 μg m−3) than in summer (ΔNO3− = 0.7 μg m−3). The variation in particulate nitrate was inherently linked to the gas-to-particle-phase equilibrium of ammonium nitrate and the dynamics of the atmosphere during day. The results of this study suggest that during summer nights, the condensation of HNO3 and NH3 on pre-existing particles represents the most prevalent source of nitrate, whereas during winter, nighttime chemistry is the predominant source of nitrate. During the summer 2008's campaign, a clear diurnal evolution in the oxidation state of the organic matter became evident (Organic Mass to Organic Carbon ratio (OM/OC) ranging from 1.65 during night to 1.80 during day and carbon oxidation state (OSc) from −0.66 to −0.4), which could be correlated to hydroxyl radical (OH) and ozone concentrations, indicating a photochemical transformation process. In summer, the organic particulate matter seemed to be heavily influenced by regional secondary formation and transformation processes, facilitated by photochemical production processes as well as a diurnal cycling of the substances between the gas and particulate phase. In winter, these processes were obviously less pronounced (OM/OC ranging from 1.60 to 1.67 and OSc from −0.8 to −0.7), so that organic matter apparently originated mainly from aged particles and long range transport.
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    Evaluation on the role of sulfuric acid in the mechanisms of new particle formation for Beijing case
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2011) Wang, Z.B.; Hu, M.; Yue, D.L.; Zheng, J.; Zhang, R.Y.; Wiedensohler, A.; Wu, Z.J.; Nieminen, T.; Boy, M.
    New particle formation (NPF) is considered as an important mechanism for gas-to-particle transformation, and gaseous sulfuric acid is believed as a crucial precursor. Up to now few field-based studies on nucleation mechanisms and the role of sulfuric acid were conducted in China. In this study, simultaneously measurements of particle number size distributions and gaseous sulfuric acid concentrations were performed from July to September in 2008. Totally, 22 new particle formation events were observed during the entire 85 campaign days. The results show that in the case of both higher source and sink values, the result of the competition between source and sink is more likely the key limiting factor to determine the observation of NPF events in Beijing. The concentrations of gaseous sulfuric acid show good correlations with freshly nucleated particles (N3-6 and formation rates (J3 and J1.5. The power-law relationship between H2SO4 concentration and N3-6 or J is adopted to explore the nucleation mechanism. The exponents are showed a great range (from 1 to 7). More than half of the NPF events exhibit an exponent larger than 2.5. For these cases, the thermodynamic process works better than the activation or kinetic nucleation theories to explain the nucleation events in urban atmosphere of Beijing.
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    Aerosol size-resolved trace metal composition in remote northern tropical atlantic marine environment: Case study cape verde islands
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2013) Fomba, K.W.; Müller, K.; van Pinxteren, D.; Herrmann, H.
    Size-resolved trace metal concentrations of 15 elements in aerosol particles at the Cape Verde Atmospheric Observatory (CVAO) under remote background conditions were investigated through analysis of aerosol samples collected during intensive field studies from January 2007 to November 2011 using total reflection x-ray fluorescence (TXRF). The identification of the main air mass origin that influence remote marine aerosol in the northern tropical Atlantic has been investigated. In total, 317 samples were collected. The dataset was analyzed according to the main air mass inflow at the station. We found that remote conditions make up about 45% of the meteorological conditions in a year at CVAO and thus the northern tropical Atlantic. Surprisingly, air masses from North America are often responsible for higher trace metal concentrations in this region. Elements such as Zn, Pb, Cu, Cr, Ni, and V were mostly found in the submicron size fractions, while elements with dominant crustal or oceanic origin such as Fe, Ti, Mn, Sr, and Rb were found in the coarse fractions (>1 μm). The highest metal concentrations, especially for Zn (3.23 ng m−3), Cu (0.81 ng m−3), Sr (2.63 ng m−3), and Cr (0.53 ng m−3), were observed in air masses originating from North America and the concentrations were within the same concentration range to those reported previously in the literature for remote marine aerosols. Fe (12.26 ng m−3), Ti (0.91 ng m−3), and Mn (0.35 ng m−3) showed higher concentrations when air mass came from Europe and the Canary Islands. Pb concentration was low (<0.20 ng m−3) and did not vary significantly with air mass direction. The low Pb concentration is indicative of the complete phase-out of leaded gasoline even in African countries. Crustal enrichment factor values decreased from fine to coarse-mode particles with low values (<4) observed for Fe, Mn, and Rb, and high values (>20) for Zn, Cu, Ni, Cr, Pb, and Se. The observed enrichment of the elements was attributed to crustal, marine, anthropogenic, and biogenic sources, as well as long-range transport and resuspension. Zn, Cu and Pb were indicators of anthropogenic activities, while Ti and Sr were indicators of crustal and marine origin, respectively. Oceanic and biogenic emissions might have contributed to most of the Se observed. This work provides the first long-term size-resolved trace metals study for remote tropical northern Atlantic marine aerosols and the dataset could serve as good initiation of yearly flux estimates.
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    Analysis of nucleation events in the European boundary layer using the regional aerosol-climate model REMO-HAM with a solar radiation-driven OH-proxy
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2014) Pietikäinen, J.-P.; Mikkonen, S.; Hamed, A.; Hienola, A.I.; Birmili, W.; Kulmala, M.; Laaksonen, A.
    This work describes improvements in the regional aerosol–climate model REMO-HAM in order to simulate more realistically the process of atmospheric new particle formation (NPF). A new scheme was implemented to simulate OH radical concentrations using a proxy approach based on observations and also accounting for the effects of clouds upon OH concentrations. Second, the nucleation rate calculation was modified to directly simulate the formation rates of 3 nm particles, which removes some unnecessary steps in the formation rate calculations used earlier in the model. Using the updated model version, NPF over Europe was simulated for the periods 2003–2004 and 2008–2009. The statistics of the simulated particle formation events were subsequently compared to observations from 13 ground-based measurement sites. The new model shows improved agreement with the observed NPF rates compared to former versions and can simulate the event statistics realistically for most parts of Europe.
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    Hygroscopic properties of the Paris urban aerosol in relation to its chemical composition
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2014) Kamilli, K.A.; Poulain, L.; Held, A.; Nowak, A.; Birmili, W.; Wiedensohler, A.
    Aerosol hygroscopic growth factors and chemical properties were measured as part of the MEGAPOLI "Megacities Plume Case Study" at the urban site Laboratoire d'Hygiène de la Ville de Paris (LHVP) in the city center of Paris from June to August 2009, and from January to February 2010. Descriptive hygroscopic growth factors (DGF) were derived in the diameter range from 25 to 350 nm at relative humidities of 30, 55, 75, and 90% by applying the summation method on humidified and dry aerosol size distributions measured simultaneously with a humidified differential mobility particle sizer (HDMPS) and a twin differential mobility particle sizer (TDMPS). For 90% relative humidity, the DGF varied from 1.06 to 1.46 in summer, and from 1.06 to 1.66 in winter. Temporal variations in the observed mean DGF could be well explained with a simple growth model based on the aerosol chemical composition measured by aerosol mass spectrometry (AMS) and black carbon photometry (MAAP). In particular, good agreement was observed when sulfate was the predominant inorganic factor. A clear overestimation of the predicted growth factor was found when the nitrate mass concentration exceeded values of 10 μg m−3, e.g., during winter.