Multi-year statistical and modeling analysis of submicrometer aerosol number size distributions at a rain forest site in Amazonia

Rizzo, LV; Roldin, P; Brito, J; Backman, J; Swietlicki, E; Krejci, R; Tunved, P; Petaja, T; Kulmala, M; Artaxo, P
2018 | Atmos. Chem. Phys. | 18 (14) (10255-10274)
atmospheric aerosols , basin , growth , isoprene epoxydiols , particle formation , secondary organic aerosol , sulfuric acid , trace gases , upper troposphere , wet season
The Amazon Basin is a unique region to study atmospheric aerosols, given their relevance for the regional hydrological cycle and the large uncertainty of their sources. Multi-year datasets are crucial when contrasting periods of natural conditions and periods influenced by anthropogenic emissions. In the wet season, biogenic sources and processes prevail, and the Amazonian atmospheric composition resembles preindustrial conditions. In the dry season, the basin is influenced by widespread biomass burning emissions. This work reports multi-year observations of high time resolution submicrometer (10-600 nm) particle number size distributions at a rain forest site in Amazonia (TT34 tower, 60 km NW from Manaus city), between 2008 and 2010 and 2012 and 2014. The median particle number concentration was 403 cm(-3) in the wet season and 1254 cm(-3) in the dry season. The Aitken mode (similar to 30-100 nm in diameter) was prominent during the wet season, while the accumulation mode (similar to 100-600 nm in diameter) dominated the particle size spectra during the dry season. Cluster analysis identified groups of aerosol number size distributions influenced by convective downdrafts, nucleation events and fresh biomass burning emissions. New particle formation and subsequent growth was rarely observed during the 749 days of observations, similar to previous observations in the Amazon Basin. A stationary 1-D column model (ADCHEM Aerosol Dynamics, gas and particle phase CHEMistry and radiative transfer model) was used to assess the importance of the processes behind the observed diurnal particle size distribution trends. Three major particle source types are required in the model to reproduce the observations: (i) a surface source of particles in the evening, possibly related to primary biological emissions; (ii) entrainment of accumulation mode aerosols in the morning; and (iii) convective downdrafts transporting Aitken mode particles into the boundary layer mostly during the afternoon. The latter process has the largest influence on the modeled particle number size distributions. However, convective downdrafts are often associated with rain and, thus, act as both a source of Aitken mode particles and a sink of accumulation mode particles, causing a net reduction in the median total particle number concentrations in the surface layer. Our study shows that the combination of the three mentioned particle sources is essential to sustain particle number concentrations in Amazonia.

Global analysis of continental boundary layer new particle formation based on long-term measurements

Nieminen, T; Kerminen, VM; Petaja, T; Aalto, PP; Arshinov, M; Asmi, E; Baltensperger, U; Beddows, DCS; Beukes, JP; Collins, D; Ding, AJ; Harrison, RM; Henzing, B; Hooda, R; Hu, M; Horrak, U; Kivekas, N; Komsaare, K; Krejci, R; Kristensson, A; Laakso, L; Laaksonen, A; Leaitch, WR; Lihavainen, H; Mihalopoulos, N; Nemeth, Z; Nie, W; O'Dowd, C; Salma, I; Sellegri, K; Svenningsson, B; Swietlicki, E; Tunved, P; Ulevicius, V; Vakkari, V; Vana, M; Wiedensohler, A; Wu, ZJ; Virtanen, A; Kulmala, M
2018 | Atmos. Chem. Phys. | 18 (19) (14737-14756)
aerosol size distribution , airborne measurements , atmospheric nucleation , black carbon , condensation nuclei production , formation events , free troposphere , high-altitude site , particulate matter , sulfuric acid
Atmospheric new particle formation (NPF) is an important phenomenon in terms of global particle number concentrations. Here we investigated the frequency of NPF, formation rates of 10 nm particles, and growth rates in the size range of 10-25 nm using at least 1 year of aerosol number size-distribution observations at 36 different locations around the world. The majority of these measurement sites are in the Northern Hemisphere. We found that the NPF frequency has a strong seasonal variability. At the measurement sites analyzed in this study, NPF occurs most frequently in March-May (on about 30 % of the days) and least frequently in December-February (about 10 % of the days). The median formation rate of 10 nm particles varies by about 3 orders of magnitude (0.01-10 cm(-3) s(-1)) and the growth rate by about an order of magnitude (1-10 nm h(-1)). The smallest values of both formation and growth rates were observed at polar sites and the largest ones in urban environments or anthropogenically influenced rural sites. The correlation between the NPF event frequency and the particle formation and growth rate was at best moderate among the different measurement sites, as well as among the sites belonging to a certain environmental regime. For a better understanding of atmospheric NPF and its regional importance, we would need more observational data from different urban areas in practically all parts of the world, from additional remote and rural locations in North America, Asia, and most of the Southern Hemisphere (especially Australia), from polar areas, and from at least a few locations over the oceans.

Identification of topographic features influencing aerosol observations at high altitude stations

Coen, MC; Andrews, E; Aliaga, D; Andrade, M; Angelov, H; Bukowiecki, N; Ealo, M; Fialho, P; Flentje, H; Hallar, AG; Hooda, R; Kalapov, I; Krejci, R; Lin, NH; Marinoni, A; Ming, J; Nguyen, A; Pandolfi, M; Pont, V; Ries, L; Rodriguez, S; Schauer, G; Sellegri, K; Sharma, S; Sun, J; Tunved, P; Velasquez, P; Ruffieux, D
2018 | Atmos. Chem. Phys. | 18 (16) (12289-12313)
1570 m a.s.l. , air-mass transport , convective boundary-layer , in situ measurements , long range transport , lower free troposphere , montsec southern pyrenees , particle formation , subtropical north-atlantic , western mediterranean basin
High altitude stations are often emphasized as free tropospheric measuring sites but they remain influenced by atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) air masses due to convective transport processes. The local and meso-scale topographical features around the station are involved in the convective boundary layer development and in the formation of thermally induced winds leading to ABL air lifting. The station altitude alone is not a sufficient parameter to characterize the ABL influence. In this study, a topography analysis is performed allowing calculation of a newly defined index called ABL-TopoIndex. The ABL-TopoIndex is constructed in order to correlate with the ABL influence at the high altitude stations and long-term aerosol time series are used to assess its validity. Topography data from the global digital elevation model GTopo30 were used to calculate five parameters for 43 high and 3 middle altitude stations situated on five continents. The geometric mean of these five parameters determines a topography based index called ABL-TopoIndex, which can be used to rank the high altitude stations as a function of the ABL influence. To construct the ABL-TopoIndex, we rely on the criteria that the ABL influence will be low if the station is one of the highest points in the mountainous massif, if there is a large altitude difference between the station and the valleys or high plains, if the slopes around the station are steep, and finally if the inverse drainage basin potentially reflecting the source area for thermally lifted pollutants to reach the site is small. All stations on volcanic islands exhibit a low ABL-TopoIndex, whereas stations in the Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau have high ABL-TopoIndex values. Spearman's rank correlation between aerosol optical properties and number concentration from 28 stations and the ABL-TopoIndex, the altitude and the latitude are used to validate this topographical approach. Statistically significant (SS) correlations are found between the 5th and 50th percentiles of all aerosol parameters and the ABL-TopoIndex, whereas no SS correlation is found with the station altitude. The diurnal cycles of aerosol parameters seem to be best explained by the station latitude although a SS correlation is found between the amplitude of the diurnal cycles of the absorption coefficient and the ABL-TopoIndex.

Arctic sea ice melt leads to atmospheric new particle formation.

Dall'Osto, M.; Beddows, DCS.; Tunved, P.; Krejci, R.; Strom, J.; Hansson, HC.; Yoon, YJ.; Park, KT.; Becagli, S.; Udisti, R.; Onasch, T.; O'Dowd, CD.; Simo, R.; Harrison, RM.
2017 | Sci Rep | 10

A new aerosol wet removal scheme for the Lagrangian particle model FLEXPART v10

Grythe, H.; Kristiansen, N.; Zwaaftink, CDG.; Eckhardt, S.; Strom, J.; Tunved, P.; Krejci, R.; Stohl, A.
2017 | Geosci. Model Dev. | 10 (1447-1466)

Pan-Arctic aerosol number size distributions: seasonality and transport patterns

Freud, E; Krejci, R; Tunved, P; Leaitch, R; Nguyen, QT; Massling, A; Skov, H; Barrie, L
2017 | Atmos. Chem. Phys. | 17 (13) (8101-8128)
air pollution , atmospheric aerosol , black carbon , cluster-analysis , long-term observations , marine boundary layer , northeast greenland , ny-alesund , particle formation , polar sunrise
The Arctic environment has an amplified response to global climatic change. It is sensitive to human activities that mostly take place elsewhere. For this study, a multi-year set of observed aerosol number size distributions in the diameter range of 10 to 500 nm from five sites around the Arctic Ocean (Alert, Villum Research Station - Station Nord, Zeppelin, Tiksi and Barrow) was assembled and analysed. A cluster analysis of the aerosol number size distributions revealed four distinct distributions. Together with Lagrangian air parcel back-trajectories, they were used to link the observed aerosol number size distributions with a variety of transport regimes. This analysis yields insight into aerosol dynamics, transport and removal processes, on both an intra- and an inter-monthly scale. For instance, the relative occurrence of aerosol number size distributions that indicate new particle formation (NPF) event is near zero during the dark months, increases gradually to similar to 40% from spring to summer, and then collapses in autumn. Also, the likelihood of Arctic haze aerosols is minimal in summer and peaks in April at all sites. The residence time of accumulation-mode particles in the Arctic troposphere is typically long enough to allow tracking them back to their source regions. Air flow that passes at low altitude over central Siberia and western Russia is associated with relatively high concentrations of accumulation-mode particles (N-acc) at all five sites - often above 150 cm(-3). There are also indications of air descending into the Arctic boundary layer after transport from lower latitudes. The analysis of the back-trajectories together with the meteorological fields along them indicates that the main driver of the Arctic annual cycle of N-acc, on the larger scale, is when atmospheric transport covers the source regions for these particles in the 10-day period preceding the observations in the Arctic. The scavenging of these particles by precipitation is shown to be important on a regional scale and it is most active in summer. Cloud processing is an additional factor that enhances the N-acc annual cycle. There are some consistent differences between the sites that are beyond the year-to-year variability. They are the result of differences in the proximity to the aerosol source regions and to the Arctic Ocean sea-ice edge, as well as in the exposure to free-tropospheric air and in precipitation patterns - to mention a few. Hence, for most purposes, aerosol observations from a single Arctic site cannot represent the entire Arctic region. Therefore, the results presented here are a powerful observational benchmark for evaluation of detailed climate and air chemistry modelling studies of aerosols throughout the vast Arctic region.

Multi-seasonal ultrafine aerosol particle number concentration measurements at the Gruvebadet observatory, Ny-lesund, Svalbard Islands

Lupi, A; Busetto, M; Becagli, S; Giardi, F; Lanconelli, C; Mazzola, M; Udisti, R; Hansson, HC; Henning, T; Petkov, B; Strom, J; Krejci, R; Tunved, P; Viola, AP; Vitale, V
2016 | Rend. Lincei.-Sci. Fis. Nat. | 27 (59-71)
aerosol size distribution , alesund , arctic aerosol , arctic air-pollution , arctic haze , boundary layer , cycle , lognormal fitting procedure , size distributions , summer , ultrafine aerosol concentration , winter , zeppelin station
The object of this study was to investigate the different modal behavior of ultrafine aerosol particles collected at the Gruvebadet observatory located in Ny-lesund (Svalbard Islands, 78A degrees 55'N, 11A degrees 56'E). Aerosol particle size distribution was measured in the size range from 10 to 470 nm typically from the beginning of spring to the beginning of fall during four (non-consecutive) years (2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014). The median concentration for the whole period taken into account was 214 particles cm(-3), oscillating between the median maximum in July with a concentration of 257 particles cm(-3) and a median minimum in April with 197 particles cm(-3). The median total number concentration did not present a well-defined seasonal behavior, as shown by contrast looking at the sub/modal number concentration, where distinct trends appeared in the predominant accumulation concentration recorded during April/May and the preponderant concentration of Aitken particles during the summer months. Lastly, the short side-by-side spring 2013 campaign performed at the Zeppelin observatory with a differential mobility particle sizer was characterized by an aerosol concentration mean steady difference between the two instruments of around 14 %, thereby supporting the reliability of the device located at Gruvebadet.

Low hygroscopic scattering enhancement of boreal aerosol and the implications for a columnar optical closure study

Zieger, P.; Aalto, P. P.; Aaltonen, V.; Äijälä, M.; Backman, J.; Hong, J.; Komppula, M.; Krejci, R.; Laborde, M.; Lampilahti, J.; de Leeuw, G.; Pfüller, A.; Rosati, B.; Tesche, M.; Tunved, P.; Väänänen, R.; Petäjä, T.
2015 | Atmos. Chem. Phys. | 15 (7247-7267)

Ambient aerosol particles can take up water and thus change their optical
properties depending on the hygroscopicity and the relative humidity (RH) of
the surrounding air. Knowledge of the hygroscopicity effect is of crucial
importance for radiative forcing calculations and is also needed for the
comparison or validation of remote sensing or model results with in situ
measurements. Specifically, particle light scattering depends on RH and can
be described by the scattering enhancement factor f(RH), which is defined
as the particle light scattering coefficient at defined RH divided by its dry
value (RH<30-40%). Here, we present results of an intensive field campaign carried out in summer 2013 at the SMEAR II station at Hyytiälä, Finland. Ground-based and airborne measurements of aerosol optical, chemical and microphysical properties were conducted. The f(RH) measured at ground level by a humidified nephelometer is found to be generally lower (e.g. 1.63+/-0.22 at RH=85% and lambda=525 nm) than observed at other European sites. One reason is the high organic mass fraction of the aerosol encountered at Hyytiälä to which f(RH) is clearly anti-correlated (R2~0.8). A simplified parametrization of f(RH) based on the measured chemical mass fraction can therefore be derived for this aerosol type. A trajectory analysis revealed that elevated values of f(RH) and the corresponding elevated inorganic mass fraction are partially caused by transported hygroscopic sea spray particles. An optical closure study shows the consistency of the ground-based in situ measurements. Our measurements allow to determine the ambient particle light extinction coefficient using the measured f(RH). By combining the ground-based measurements with intensive aircraft measurements of the particle number size distribution and ambient RH, columnar values of the particle extinction coefficient are determined and compared to columnar measurements of a co-located AERONET sun photometer. The water uptake is found to be of minor importance for the column-averaged properties due to the low particle hygroscopicity and the low RH during the daytime of the summer months. The in situ derived aerosol optical depths (AOD) clearly correlate with directly measured values of the sun photometer but are substantially lower compared to the directly measured values (factor of ~2-3). The comparison degrades for longer wavelengths. The disagreement between in situ derived and directly measured AOD is hypothesized to originate from losses of coarse and fine mode particles through dry deposition within the canopy and losses in the in situ sampling lines. In addition, elevated aerosol layers (above 3 km) from long-range transport were observed using an aerosol lidar at Kuopio, Finland, about 200 km east-north-east of Hyytiälä. These elevated layers further explain parts of the disagreement.

Organosulfates and organic acids in Arctic aerosols: Speciation, annual variation and concentration levels

Hansen, A.M.K.; Kristensen, K.; Nguyen, Q.T.; Zare, A.; Cozzi, F.; Nojgaard, J.K.; Skov, H.; Brandt, J.; Christensen, J.H.; Ström, J.; Tunved, P.; Krejci, R.; Glasius M.
2014 | Atmos. Chem. Phys. | 14 (15) (7807-7823)

Sources, composition and occurrence of secondary organic aerosols in the Arctic were investigated at Zeppelin Mountain, Svalbard, and Station Nord, northeastern Greenland, during the full annual cycle of 2008 and 2010, respectively. Speciation of organic acids, organosulfates and nitrooxy organosulfates - from both anthropogenic and biogenic precursors were in focus. A total of 11 organic acids (terpenylic acid, benzoic acid, phthalic acid, pinic acid, suberic acid, azelaic acid, adipic acid, pimelic acid, pinonic acid, diaterpenylic acid acetate and 3-methyl-1,2,3-butanetricarboxylic acid), 12 organosulfates and 1 nitrooxy organosulfate were identified in aerosol samples from the two sites using a high-performance liquid chromatograph (HPLC) coupled to a quadrupole Time-of-Flight mass spectrometer. At Station Nord, compound concentrations followed a distinct annual pattern, where high mean concentrations of organosulfates (47 +/- 14 ng m(-3)) and organic acids (11.5 +/- 4 ng m(-3)) were observed in January, February and March, contrary to considerably lower mean concentrations of organosulfates (2 +/- 3 ng m(3-)) and organic acids (2.2 +/- 1 ng m(-3)) observed during the rest of the year. At Zeppelin Mountain, organosulfate and organic acid concentrations remained relatively constant during most of the year at a mean concentration of 15 +/- 4 ng m(-3) and 3.9 +/- 1 ng m(-3), respectively. However during four weeks of spring, remarkably higher concentrations of total organosulfates (23-36 ng m(-3)) and total organic acids (7-10 ngm(-3)) were observed. Elevated organosulfate and organic acid concentrations coincided with the Arctic haze period at both stations, where northern Eurasia was identified as the main source region. Air mass transport from northern Eurasia to Zeppelin Mountain was associated with a 100% increase in the number of detected organosulfate species compared with periods of air mass transport from the Arctic Ocean, Scandinavia and Greenland. The results from this study suggested that the presence of organic acids and organosulfates at Station Nord was mainly due to long-range transport, whereas indications of local sources were found for some compounds at Zeppelin Mountain. Furthermore, organosulfates contributed significantly to organic matter throughout the year at Zeppelin Mountain (annual mean of 13 +/- 8 %) and during Arctic haze at Station Nord (7 +/- 2 %), suggesting organosulfates to be important compounds in Arctic aerosols.

Reconciling aerosol light extinction measurements from spaceborne lidar observations and in situ measurements in the Arctic

Tesche, M.; Zieger, P.; Rastak, N.; Charlson, R. J.; Glantz, P.; Tunved, P.; Hansson, H.-C
2014 | Atmos. Chem. Phys. | 14 (7869-7882)

In this study we investigate to what degree it is possible to reconcile continuously recorded particle light extinction coefficients derived from dry in situ measurements at Zeppelin station (78.92° N, 11.85° E; 475 m above sea level), Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard, that are recalculated to ambient relative humidity, as well as simultaneous ambient observations with the Cloud-Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization (CALIOP) aboard the Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations (CALIPSO) satellite. To our knowledge, this represents the first study that compares spaceborne lidar measurements to optical aerosol properties from short-term in situ observations (averaged over 5 h) on a case-by-case basis. Finding suitable comparison cases requires an elaborate screening and matching of the CALIOP data with respect to the location of Zeppelin station as well as the selection of temporal and spatial averaging intervals for both the ground-based and spaceborne observations. Reliable reconciliation of these data cannot be achieved with the closest-approach method, which is often used in matching CALIOP observations to those taken at ground sites. This is due to the transport pathways of the air parcels that were sampled. The use of trajectories allowed us to establish a connection between spaceborne and ground-based observations for 57 individual overpasses out of a total of 2018 that occurred in our region of interest around Svalbard (0 to 25° E, 75 to 82° N) in the considered year of 2008. Matches could only be established during winter and spring, since the low aerosol load during summer in connection with the strong solar background and the high occurrence rate of clouds strongly influences the performance and reliability of CALIOP observations. Extinction coefficients in the range of 2 to 130 Mm−1 at 532 nm were found for successful matches with a difference of a factor of 1.47 (median value for a range from 0.26 to 11.2) between the findings of in situ and spaceborne observations (the latter being generally larger than the former). The remaining difference is likely to be due to the natural variability in aerosol concentration and ambient relative humidity, an insufficient representation of aerosol particle growth, or a misclassification of aerosol type (i.e., choice of lidar ratio) in the CALIPSO retrieval.

Seasonal variation of aerosol water uptake and its impact on the direct radiative effect at Ny-Alesund, Svalbard

Rastak, N; Silvergren, S; Zieger, P; Wideqvist, U; Strom, J; Svenningsson, B; Maturilli, M; Tesche, M; Ekman, AML; Tunved, P; Riipinen, I
2014 | Atmos. Chem. Phys. | 14 (14) (7445-7460)

In this study we investigated the impact of water uptake by aerosol particles in ambient atmosphere on their optical properties and their direct radiative effect (ADRE, W m(-2)) in the Arctic at Ny-Alesund, Svalbard, during 2008. To achieve this, we combined three models, a hygroscopic growth model, a Mie model and a radiative transfer model, with an extensive set of observational data. We found that the seasonal variation of dry aerosol scattering coefficients showed minimum values during the summer season and the beginning of fall (July-August-September), when small particles (< 100 nm in diameter) dominate the aerosol number size distribution. The maximum scattering by dry particles was observed during the Arctic haze period (March-April-May) when the average size of the particles was larger. Considering the hygroscopic growth of aerosol particles in the ambient atmosphere had a significant impact on the aerosol scattering coefficients: the aerosol scattering coefficients were enhanced by on average a factor of 4.30 +/- 2.26 (mean +/- standard deviation), with lower values during the haze period (March-April-May) as compared to summer and fall. Hygroscopic growth of aerosol particles was found to cause 1.6 to 3.7 times more negative ADRE at the surface, with the smallest effect during the haze period (March-April-May) and the highest during late summer and beginning of fall (July-August-September).

Long-term in situ observations of biomass burning aerosol at a high altitude station in Venezuela – Sources, impacts and interannual variability

Hamburger, T.; Matisans, M.; Tunved, P.; Ström, J.; Calderon, S.; Hoffman, P.; Hoschild, G.; Gross, J.; Schmeissner, T.; Krejci, R.
2013 | Atmos. Chem. Phys. | 13 (19) (9837-9853)

First long-term observations of South American biomass burning aerosol within the tropical lower free troposphere are presented. The observations were conducted between 2007 and 2009 at a high altitude station (4765 m a.s.l.) on the Pico Espejo, Venezuela. Sub-micron particle volume, number concentrations of primary particles and particle absorption were observed. Orographic lifting and shallow convection leads to a distinct diurnal cycle at the station. It enables measurements within the lower free troposphere during night-time and observations of boundary layer air masses during daytime and at their transitional regions. The seasonal cycle is defined by a wet rainy season and a dry biomass burning season. The particle load of biomass burning aerosol is dominated by fires in the Venezuelan savannah. Increases of aerosol concentrations could not be linked to long-range transport of biomass burning plumes from the Amazon basin or Africa due to effective wet scavenging of particles. Highest particle concentrations were observed within boundary layer air masses during the dry season. Ambient sub-micron particle volume reached 1.4 +/- 1.3 mu m(3) cm(-3), refractory particle number concentrations (at 300 degrees C) 510+/-420 cm(-3) and the absorption coefficient 0.91+/-1.2 Mm(-1). The respective concentrations were lowest within the lower free troposphere during the wet season and averaged at 0.19+/-0.25 mu m(3) cm-3, 150+/-94 cm(-3) and 0.15+/-0.26 Mm(-1). A decrease of particle concentrations during the dry seasons from 2007-2009 could be connected to a decrease in fire activity in the wider region of Venezuela using MODIS satellite observations. The variability of biomass burning is most likely linked to the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Low biomass burning activity in the Venezuelan savannah was observed to follow La Nina conditions, high biomass burning activity followed El Nino conditions.

Contact information

Visiting addresses:

Geovetenskapens Hus,
Svante Arrhenius väg 8, Stockholm

Arrheniuslaboratoriet, Svante Arrhenius väg 16, Stockholm (Unit for Analytical and Toxicological Chemistry)

Mailing address:
Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry (ACES)
Stockholm University
106 91 Stockholm

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Stella Papadopoulou
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