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    Complex refractive indices of Saharan dust samples at visible and near UV wavelengths: A laboratory study
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2012) Wagner, R.; Ajtai, T.; Kandler, K.; Lieke, K.; Linke, C.; Müller, T.; Schnaiter, M.; Vragel, M.
    We have retrieved the wavelength-dependent imaginary parts of the complex refractive index for five different Saharan dust aerosol particles of variable mineralogical composition at wavelengths between 305 and 955 nm. The dust particles were generated by dispersing soil samples into a laboratory aerosol chamber, typically yielding particle sizes with mean diameters ranging from 0.3 to 0.4 μm and maximum diameters from 2 to 4 μm. The extinction and absorption coefficients as well as the number size distribution of the dust particles were simultaneously measured by various established techniques. An inversion scheme based on a spheroidal dust model was employed to deduce the refractive indices. The retrieved imaginary parts of the complex refractive index were in the range from 0.003 to 0.005, 0.005 to 0.011, and 0.016 to 0.050 at the wavelengths 955, 505, and 305 nm. The hematite content of the dust particles was determined by electron-microscopical single particle analysis. Hematite volume fractions in the range from 1.1 to 2.7% were found for the different dusts, a range typical for atmospheric mineral dust. We have performed a sensitivity study to assess how accurately the retrieved imaginary refractive indices could be reproduced by calculations with mixing rule approximations using the experimentally determined hematite contents as input.
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    Hydroxymethanesulfonic acid in size-segregated aerosol particles at nine sites in Germany
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2014) Scheinhardt, S.; van Pinxteren, D.; Müller, K.; Spindler, G.; Herrmann, H.
    In the course of two field campaigns, size-segregated particle samples were collected at nine sites in Germany, including traffic, urban, rural, marine and mountain sites. During the chemical characterisation of the samples some of them were found to contain an unknown substance that was later identified as hydroxymethanesulfonic acid (HMSA). HMSA is known to be formed during the reaction of S(IV) (HSO3− or SO32−) with formaldehyde in the aqueous phase. Due to its stability, HMSA can act as a reservoir species for S(IV) in the atmosphere and is therefore of interest for the understanding of atmospheric sulfur chemistry. However, no HMSA data are available for atmospheric particles from central Europe, and even on a worldwide scale data are scarce. Thus, the present study now provides a representative data set with detailed information on HMSA concentrations in size-segregated central European aerosol particles. HMSA mass concentrations in this data set were highly variable: HMSA was found in 224 out of 738 samples (30%), sometimes in high mass concentrations exceeding those of oxalic acid. On average over all 154 impactor runs, 31.5 ng m−3 HMSA was found in PM10, contributing 0.21% to the total mass. The results show that the particle diameter, the sampling location, the sampling season and the air mass origin impact the HMSA mass concentration. Highest concentrations were found in the particle fraction 0.42–1.2 μm, at urban sites, in winter and with eastern (continental) air masses, respectively. The results suggest that HMSA is formed during aging of pollution plumes. A positive correlation of HMSA with sulfate, oxalate and PM is found (R2 > 0.4). The results furthermore suggest that the fraction of HMSA in PM slightly decreases with increasing pH.
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    Optical properties of atmospheric fine particles near Beijing during the HOPE-J3A campaign
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2016) Xu, Xuezhe; Zhao, Weixiong; Zhang, Qilei; Wang, Shuo; Fang, Bo; Chen, Weidong; Venables, Dean S.; Wang, Xinfeng; Pu, Wei; Wang, Xin; Gao, Xiaoming; Zhang, Weijun
    The optical properties and chemical composition of PM1.0 particles in a suburban environment (Huairou) near the megacity of Beijing were measured during the HOPE-J3A (Haze Observation Project Especially for Jing–Jin–Ji Area) field campaign. The campaign covered the period November 2014 to January 2015 during the winter coal heating season. The average values and standard deviations of the extinction, scattering, absorption coefficients, and the aerosol single scattering albedo (SSA) at λ  =  470 nm during the measurement period were 201 ± 240, 164 ± 202, 37 ± 43 Mm−1, and 0.80 ± 0.08, respectively. The average values for the real and imaginary components of the effective complex refractive index (CRI) over the campaign were 1.40 ± 0.06 and 0.03 ± 0.02, while the average mass scattering and absorption efficiencies (MSEs and MAEs) of PM1.0 were 3.6 and 0.7 m2 g−1, respectively. Highly time-resolved air pollution episodes clearly show the dramatic evolution of the PM1.0 size distribution, extensive optical properties (extinction, scattering, and absorption coefficients), and intensive optical properties (SSA and CRI) during haze formation, development, and decline. Time periods were classified into three different pollution levels (clear, slightly polluted, and polluted) for further analysis. It was found that (1) the relative contributions of organic and inorganic species to observed aerosol composition changed significantly from clear to polluted days: the organic mass fraction decreased from 50 to 43 % while the proportion of sulfates, nitrates, and ammonium increased strongly from 34 to 44 %. (2) Chemical apportionment of extinction, calculated using the IMPROVE algorithm, tended to underestimate the extinction compared to measurements. Agreement with measurements was improved by modifying the parameters to account for enhanced absorption by elemental carbon (EC). Organic mass was the largest contributor (52 %) to the total extinction of PM1.0, while EC, despite its low mass concentration of  ∼  4 %, contributed about 17 % to extinction. When the air quality deteriorated, the contribution of nitrate aerosol increased significantly (from 15 % on clear days to 22 % on polluted days). (3) Under polluted conditions, the average MAEs of EC were up to 4 times as large as the reference MAE value for freshly generated black carbon (BC). The temporal pattern of MAE values was similar to that of the OC / EC ratio, suggesting that non-BC absorption from secondary organic aerosol also contributes to particle absorption.
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    Phase transition observations and discrimination of small cloud particles by light polarization in expansion chamber experiments
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2016) Nichman, Leonid; Fuchs, Claudia; Järvinen, Emma; Ignatius, Karoliina; Höppel, Niko Florian; Dias, Antonio; Heinritzi, Martin; Simon, Mario; Tröstl, Jasmin; Wagner, Andrea Christine; Wagner, Robert; Williamson, Christina; Yan, Chao; Connolly, Paul James; Dorsey, James Robert; Duplissy, Jonathan; Ehrhart, Sebastian; Frege, Carla; Gordon, Hamish; Hoyle, Christopher Robert; Kristensen, Thomas Bjerring; Steiner, Gerhard; McPherson Donahue, Neil; Flagan, Richard; Gallagher, Martin William; Kirkby, Jasper; Möhler, Ottmar; Saathoff, Harald; Schnaiter, Martin; Stratmann, Frank; Tomé, António
    Cloud microphysical processes involving the ice phase in tropospheric clouds are among the major uncertainties in cloud formation, weather, and general circulation models. The detection of aerosol particles, liquid droplets, and ice crystals, especially in the small cloud particle-size range below 50 μm, remains challenging in mixed phase, often unstable environments. The Cloud Aerosol Spectrometer with Polarization (CASPOL) is an airborne instrument that has the ability to detect such small cloud particles and measure the variability in polarization state of their backscattered light. Here we operate the versatile Cosmics Leaving OUtdoor Droplets (CLOUD) chamber facility at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) to produce controlled mixed phase and other clouds by adiabatic expansions in an ultraclean environment, and use the CASPOL to discriminate between different aerosols, water, and ice particles. In this paper, optical property measurements of mixed-phase clouds and viscous secondary organic aerosol (SOA) are presented. We report observations of significant liquid–viscous SOA particle polarization transitions under dry conditions using CASPOL. Cluster analysis techniques were subsequently used to classify different types of particles according to their polarization ratios during phase transition. A classification map is presented for water droplets, organic aerosol (e.g., SOA and oxalic acid), crystalline substances such as ammonium sulfate, and volcanic ash. Finally, we discuss the benefits and limitations of this classification approach for atmospherically relevant concentrations and mixtures with respect to the CLOUD 8–9 campaigns and its potential contribution to tropical troposphere layer analysis.
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    A concept of an automated function control for ambient aerosol measurements using mobility particle size spectrometers
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2014) Schladitz, A.; Merkel, M.; Bastian, S.; Birmili, W.; Weinhold, K.; Löschau, G.; Wiedensohler, A.
    An automated function control unit was developed to regularly check the ambient particle number concentration derived from a mobility particle size spectrometer as well as its zero-point behaviour. The function control allows unattended quality assurance experiments at remote air quality monitoring or research stations under field conditions. The automated function control also has the advantage of being able to get a faster system stability response than the recommended on-site comparisons with reference instruments. The method is based on a comparison of the total particle number concentration measured by a mobility particle size spectrometer and a condensation particle counter while removing diffusive particles smaller than 20 nm in diameter. In practice, the small particles are removed by a set of diffusion screens, as traditionally used in a diffusion battery. Another feature of the automated function control is to check the zero-point behaviour of the ambient aerosol passing through a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. The performance of the function control is illustrated with the aid of a 1-year data set recorded at Annaberg-Buchholz, a station in the Saxon air quality monitoring network. During the period of concern, the total particle number concentration derived from the mobility particle size spectrometer slightly overestimated the particle number concentration recorded by the condensation particle counter by 2 % (grand average). Based on our first year of experience with the function control, we developed tolerance criteria that allow a performance evaluation of a tested mobility particle size spectrometer with respect to the total particle number concentration. We conclude that the automated function control enhances the quality and reliability of unattended long-term particle number size distribution measurements. This will have beneficial effects for intercomparison studies involving different measurement sites, and help provide a higher data accuracy for cohort health and climate research studies.
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    ALADINA - An unmanned research aircraft for observing vertical and horizontal distributions of ultrafine particles within the atmospheric boundary layer
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2015) Altstädter, B.; Platis, A.; Wehner, B.; Scholtz, A.; Wildmann, N.; Hermann, M.; Käthner, R.; Baars, H.; Bange, J.; Lampert, A.
    This paper presents the unmanned research aircraft Carolo P360 "ALADINA" (Application of Light-weight Aircraft for Detecting IN situ Aerosol) for investigating the horizontal and vertical distribution of ultrafine particles in the atmospheric boundary layer (ABL). It has a wingspan of 3.6 m, a maximum take-off weight of 25 kg and is equipped with aerosol instrumentation and meteorological sensors. A first application of the system, together with the unmanned research aircraft MASC (Multi-Purpose Airborne Carrier) of the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen (EKUT), is described. As small payload for ALADINA, two condensation particle counters (CPC) and one optical particle counter (OPC) were miniaturised by re-arranging the vital parts and composing them in a space-saving way in the front compartment of the airframe. The CPCs are improved concerning the lower detection threshold and the response time to less than 1.3 s. Each system was characterised in the laboratory and calibrated with test aerosols. The CPCs are operated in this study with two different lower detection threshold diameters of 11 and 18 nm. The amount of ultrafine particles, which is an indicator for new particle formation, is derived from the difference in number concentrations of the two CPCs (ΔN). Turbulence and thermodynamic structure of the boundary layer are described by measurements of fast meteorological sensors that are mounted at the aircraft nose. A first demonstration of ALADINA and a feasibility study were conducted in Melpitz near Leipzig, Germany, at the Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) station of the Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research (TROPOS) on 2 days in October 2013. There, various ground-based instruments are installed for long-term atmospheric monitoring. The ground-based infrastructure provides valuable additional background information to embed the flights in the continuous atmospheric context and is used for validation of the airborne results. The development of the boundary layer, derived from backscatter signals of a portable Raman lidar POLLYXT, allows a quick overview of the current vertical structure of atmospheric particles. Ground-based aerosol number concentrations are consistent with the results from flights in heights of a few metres. In addition, a direct comparison of ALADINA aerosol data and ground-based aerosol data, sampling the air at the same location for more than 1 h, shows comparable values within the range of ± 20 %. MASC was operated simultaneously with complementary flight patterns. It is equipped with the same meteorological instruments that offer the possibility to determine turbulent fluxes. Therefore, additional information about meteorological conditions was collected in the lowest part of the atmosphere. Vertical profiles up to 1000 m in altitude indicate a high variability with distinct layers of aerosol, especially for the small particles of a few nanometres in diameter on 1 particular day. The stratification was almost neutral and two significant aerosol layers were detected with total aerosol number concentrations up to 17 000 ± 3400 cm−3 between 180 and 220 m altitude and 14 000 ± 2800 cm−3 between 550 and 650 m. Apart from those layers, the aerosol distribution was well mixed and reached the total number concentration of less than 8000 ± 1600 cm−3. During another day, the distribution of the small particles in the lowermost ABL was related to the stratification, with continuously decreasing number concentrations from 16 000 ± 3200 cm−3 to a minimum of 4000 ± 800 cm−3 at the top of the inversion at 320 m. Above this, the total number concentration was rather constant. In the region of 500 to 600 m altitude, a significant difference of both CPCs was observed. This event occurred during the boundary layer development in the morning and represents a particle burst within the ABL.
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    Variations in tropospheric submicron particle size distributions across the European continent 2008-2009
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2014) Beddows, D.C.S.; Dall'Osto, M.; Harrison, R.M.; Kulmala, M.; Asmi, A.; Wiedensohler, A.; Laj, P.; Fjaeraa, A.M.; Sellegri, K.; Birmili, W.; Bukowiecki, N.; Weingartner, E.; Baltensperger, U.; Zdimal, V.; Zikova, N.; Putaud, J.-P.; Marinoni, A.; Tunved, P.; Hansson, H.-C.; Fiebig, M.; Kivekäs, N.; Swietlicki, E.; Lihavainen, H.; Asmi, E.; Ulevicius, V.; Aalto, P.P.; Mihalopoulos, N.; Kalivitis, N.; Kalapov, I.; Kiss, G.; de Leeuw, G.; Henzing, B.; O'Dowd, C.; Jennings, S.G.; Flentje, H.; Meinhardt, F.; Ries, L.; Denier van der Gon, H.A.C.; Visschedijk, A.J.H.
    Cluster~analysis of particle number size distributions from~background sites across Europe~is presented. This generated a total of nine clusters of particle size distributions which could be further combined into two main groups, namely: a south-to-north category (four clusters) and a west-to-east category (five clusters). The first group was identified as most frequently being detected inside and around northern Germany and neighbouring countries, showing clear evidence of local afternoon nucleation and growth events that could be linked to movement of air masses from south to north arriving ultimately at the Arctic contributing to Arctic haze.~The second group of particle size spectra proved to have narrower size distributions and collectively showed a dependence of modal diameter upon the longitude of the site (west to east) at which they were most frequently detected.~These clusters indicated regional nucleation (at the coastal sites) growing to larger modes further inland. The apparent growth rate of the modal diameter was around 0.6–0.9 nm h−1. Four specific air mass back-trajectories were successively taken as case studies to examine in real time the evolution of aerosol size distributions across Europe. ~While aerosol growth processes can be observed as aerosol traverses Europe, the processes are often obscured by the addition of aerosol by emissions en route. This study revealed that some of the 24 stations exhibit more complex behaviour than others, especially when impacted by local sources or a variety of different air masses. Overall, the aerosol size distribution clustering analysis greatly simplifies the complex data set and allows a description of aerosol aging processes, which reflects the longer-term average development of particle number size distributions as air masses advect across Europe.
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    Aerosol particle measurements at three stationary sites in the megacity of Paris during summer 2009: Meteorology and air mass origin dominate aerosol particle composition and size distribution
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2013) Freutel, F.; Schneider, J.; Drewnick, F.; Weiden-Reinmüller, S.-L.; Crippa, M.; Prévôt, A.S.H.; Baltensperger, U.; Poulain, L.; Wiedensohler, R.A.; Sciare, J.; Sarda-Estève, R.; Burkhart, J.F.; Eckhardt, S.; Stohl, A.; Gros, V.; Colomb, A.; Michoud, V.; Doussin, J.F.; Borbon, A.; Haeffelin, M.; Morille, Y.; Beekmann, M.; Borrmann, S.
    During July 2009, a one-month measurement campaign was performed in the megacity of Paris. Amongst other measurement platforms, three stationary sites distributed over an area of 40 km in diameter in the greater Paris region enabled a detailed characterization of the aerosol particle and gas phase. Simulation results from the FLEXPART dispersion model were used to distinguish between different types of air masses sampled. It was found that the origin of air masses had a large influence on measured mass concentrations of the secondary species particulate sulphate, nitrate, ammonium, and oxygenated organic aerosol measured with the Aerodyne aerosol mass spectrometer in the submicron particle size range: particularly high concentrations of these species (about 4 μg m−3, 2 μg m−3, 2 μg m−3, and 7 μg m−3, respectively) were measured when aged material was advected from continental Europe, while for air masses originating from the Atlantic, much lower mass concentrations of these species were observed (about 1 μg m−3, 0.2 μg m−3, 0.4 μg m−3, and 1–3 μg m−3, respectively). For the primary emission tracers hydrocarbon-like organic aerosol, black carbon, and NOx it was found that apart from diurnal source strength variations and proximity to emission sources, local meteorology had the largest influence on measured concentrations, with higher wind speeds leading to larger dilution and therefore smaller measured concentrations. Also the shape of particle size distributions was affected by wind speed and air mass origin. Quasi-Lagrangian measurements performed under connected flow conditions between the three stationary sites were used to estimate the influence of the Paris emission plume onto its surroundings, which was found to be rather small. Rough estimates for the impact of the Paris emission plume on the suburban areas can be inferred from these measurements: Volume mixing ratios of 1–14 ppb of NOx, and upper limits for mass concentrations of about 1.5 μg m−3 of black carbon and of about 3 μg m−3 of hydrocarbon-like organic aerosol can be deduced which originate from both, local emissions and the overall Paris emission plume. The secondary aerosol particle phase species were found to be not significantly influenced by the Paris megacity, indicating their regional origin. The submicron aerosol mass concentrations of particulate sulphate, nitrate, and ammonium measured during time periods when air masses were advected from eastern central Europe were found to be similar to what has been found from other measurement campaigns in Paris and south-central France for this type of air mass origin, indicating that the results presented here are also more generally valid.
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    Assessment of lidar depolarization uncertainty by means of a polarimetric lidar simulator
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2016) Bravo-Aranda, Juan Antonio; Belegante, Livio; Freudenthaler, Volker; Alados-Arboledas, Lucas; Nicolae, Doina; Granados-Muñoz, María José; Guerrero-Rascado, Juan Luis; Amodeo, Aldo; D'Amico, Giusseppe; Engelmann, Ronny; Pappalardo, Gelsomina; Kokkalis, Panos; Mamouri, Rodanthy; Papayannis, Alex; Navas-Guzmán, Francisco; Olmo, Francisco José; Wandinger, Ulla; Amato, Francesco; Haeffelin, Martial
    Lidar depolarization measurements distinguish between spherical and non-spherical aerosol particles based on the change of the polarization state between the emitted and received signal. The particle shape information in combination with other aerosol optical properties allows the characterization of different aerosol types and the retrieval of aerosol particle microphysical properties. Regarding the microphysical inversions, the lidar depolarization technique is becoming a key method since particle shape information can be used by algorithms based on spheres and spheroids, optimizing the retrieval procedure. Thus, the identification of the depolarization error sources and the quantification of their effects are crucial. This work presents a new tool to assess the systematic error of the volume linear depolarization ratio (δ), combining the Stokes–Müller formalism and the complete sampling of the error space using the lidar model presented in Freudenthaler (2016a). This tool is applied to a synthetic lidar system and to several EARLINET lidars with depolarization capabilities at 355 or 532 nm. The lidar systems show relative errors of δ larger than 100 % for δ values around molecular linear depolarization ratios (∼ 0.004 and up to ∼  10 % for δ = 0.45). However, one system shows only relative errors of 25 and 0.22 % for δ = 0.004 and δ = 0.45, respectively, and gives an example of how a proper identification and reduction of the main error sources can drastically reduce the systematic errors of δ. In this regard, we provide some indications of how to reduce the systematic errors.
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    EARLINET instrument intercomparison campaigns: Overview on strategy and results
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2016) Wandinger, Ulla; Freudenthaler, Volker; Baars, Holger; Amodeo, Aldo; Engelmann, Ronny; Mattis, Ina; Groß, Silke; Pappalardo, Gelsomina; Giunta, Aldo; D'Amico, Giuseppe; Chaikovsky, Anatoli; Osipenko, Fiodor; Slesar, Alexander; Nicolae, Doina; Belegante, Livio; Talianu, Camelia; Serikov, Ilya; Linné, Holger; Jansen, Friedhelm; Apituley, Arnoud; Wilson, Keith M.; de Graaf, Martin; Trickl, Thomas; Giehl, Helmut; Adam, Mariana; Comerón, Adolfo; Muñoz-Porcar, Constantino; Rocadenbosch, Francesc; Sicard, Michaël; Tomás, Sergio; Lange, Diego; Kumar, Dhiraj; Pujadas, Manuel; Molero, Francisco; Fernández, Alfonso J.; Alados-Arboledas, Lucas; Bravo-Aranda, Juan Antonio; Navas-Guzmán, Francisco; Guerrero-Rascado, Juan Luis; Granados-Muñoz, María José; Preißler, Jana; Wagner, Frank; Gausa, Michael; Grigorov, Ivan; Stoyanov, Dimitar; Iarlori, Marco; Rizi, Vincenco; Spinelli, Nicola; Boselli, Antonella; Wang, Xuan; Feudo, Teresa Lo; Perrone, Maria Rita; De Tomas, Ferdinando; Burlizzi, Pasquale
    This paper introduces the recent European Aerosol Research Lidar Network (EARLINET) quality-assurance efforts at instrument level. Within two dedicated campaigns and five single-site intercomparison activities, 21 EARLINET systems from 18 EARLINET stations were intercompared between 2009 and 2013. A comprehensive strategy for campaign setup and data evaluation has been established. Eleven systems from nine EARLINET stations participated in the EARLINET Lidar Intercomparison 2009 (EARLI09). In this campaign, three reference systems were qualified which served as traveling standards thereafter. EARLINET systems from nine other stations have been compared against these reference systems since 2009. We present and discuss comparisons at signal and at product level from all campaigns for more than 100 individual measurement channels at the wavelengths of 355, 387, 532, and 607 nm. It is shown that in most cases, a very good agreement of the compared systems with the respective reference is obtained. Mean signal deviations in predefined height ranges are typically below ±2 %. Particle backscatter and extinction coefficients agree within ±2  ×  10−4 km−1 sr−1 and ± 0.01 km−1, respectively, in most cases. For systems or channels that showed larger discrepancies, an in-depth analysis of deficiencies was performed and technical solutions and upgrades were proposed and realized. The intercomparisons have reinforced confidence in the EARLINET data quality and allowed us to draw conclusions on necessary system improvements for some instruments and to identify major challenges that need to be tackled in the future.