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Claeys, M, Roberts G, Mallet M, Arndt J, Sellegri K, Sciare J, Wenger J, Sauvage B.  2017.  Optical, physical and chemical properties of aerosols transported to a coastal site in the western Mediterranean: a focus on primary marine aerosols. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. 17:7891-7915.   10.5194/acp-17-7891-2017   AbstractWebsite

As part of the ChArMEx-ADRIMED campaign (summer 2013), ground-based in situ observations were conducted at the Ersa site (northern tip of Corsica; 533 m a.s.l.) to characterise the optical, physical and chemical properties of aerosols. During the observation period, a major influence of primary marine aerosols was detected (22-26 June), with a mass concentration reaching up to 6.5 mu g m(-3) and representing more than 40% of the total PM10 mass concentration. Its relatively low ratio of chloride to sodium (average of 0.57) indicates a fairly aged sea salt aerosol at Ersa. In this work, an original data set, obtained from online real-time instruments (ATOFMS, PILS-IC) has been used to characterise the ageing of primary marine aerosols (PMAs). During this PMA period, the mixing of fresh and aged PMAs was found to originate from both local and regional (Gulf of Lion) emissions, according to local wind measurements and FLEXPART back trajectories. Two different aerosol regimes have been identified: a dust outbreak (dust) originating from Algeria/Tunisia, and a pollution period with aerosols originating from eastern Europe, which includes anthropogenic and biomass burning sources (BBP). The optical, physical and chemical properties of the observed aerosols, as well as their local shortwave (SW) direct radiative effect (DRE) in clear-sky conditions, are compared for these three periods in order to assess the importance of the direct radiative impact of PMAs compared to other sources above the western Mediterranean Basin. As expected, AERONET retrievals indicate a relatively low local SW DRF during the PMA period with mean values of -11 +/- 4 at the surface and -8 +/- 3W m(-2) at the top of the atmosphere (TOA). In comparison, our results indicate that the dust outbreak observed at our site during the campaign, although of moderate intensity (AOD of 0.3-0.4 at 440 nm and column-integrated SSA of 0.90-0.95), induced a local instantaneous SW DRF that is nearly 3 times the effect calculated during the PMA period, with maximum values up to -40 W m(-2) at the surface. A similar range of values were found for the BBP period to those during the dust period (SW DRF at the surface and TOA of -23 +/- 6 and -15 +/- 4 W m(-2) respectively). The multiple sources of measurements at Ersa allowed the detection of a PMA-dominant period and their characterisation in terms of ageing, origin, transport, optical and physical properties and direct climatic impact.

Crumeyrolle, S, Manninen HE, Sellegri K, Roberts G, Gomes L, Kulmala M, Weigel R, Laj P, Schwarzenboeck A.  2010.  New particle formation events measured on board the ATR-42 aircraft during the EUCAARI campaign. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. 10:6721-6735.   10.5194/acp-10-6721-2010   AbstractWebsite

Aerosol properties were studied during an intensive airborne measurement campaign that took place at Rotterdam in Netherlands in May 2008 within the framework of the European Aerosol Cloud Climate and Air Quality Interactions project (EUCAARI). The objective of this study is to illustrate seven events of new particle formation (NPF) observed with two Condensation Particle Counters (CPCs) operated on board the ATR-42 research aircraft in airsectors around Rotterdam, and to provide information on the spatial extent of the new particle formation phenomenon based on 1-s resolution measurements of ultra-fine particle (in the size range 3-10 nm diameter, denoted N(3-10) hereafter) concentrations. The results show that particle production occurred under the influence of different air mass origins, at different day times and over the North Sea as well as over the continent. The number concentration of freshly nucleated particles (N(3-10)) varied between 5000 and 100 000 cm(-3) within the boundary layer (BL). Furthermore the vertical extension for all nucleation events observed on the ATR-42 never exceeded the upper limit of the BL. The horizontal extent of N(3-10) could not be delimited due to inflexible flight plans which could not be modified to accommodate real-time results. However, the NPF events were observed over geographically large areas; typically the horizontal extension was about 100 km and larger.

Sullivan, RC, Moore MJK, Petters MD, Kreidenweis SM, Roberts GC, Prather KA.  2009.  Timescale for hygroscopic conversion of calcite mineral particles through heterogeneous reaction with nitric acid. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics. 11:7826-7837.   10.1039/b904217b   AbstractWebsite

Atmospheric heterogeneous reactions can potentially change the hygroscopicity of atmospheric aerosols as they undergo chemical aging processes in the atmosphere. A particle's hygroscopicity influences its cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) properties with potential impacts on cloud formation and climate. In this study, size-selected calcite mineral particles were reacted with controlled amounts of nitric acid vapour over a wide range of relative humidities in an aerosol flow tube to study the conversion of insoluble and thus apparently non-hygroscopic calcium carbonate into soluble and hygroscopic calcium nitrate. The rate of hygroscopic change particles undergo during a heterogeneous reaction is derived from experimental measurements for the first time. The chemistry of the reacted particles was determined using an ultra. ne aerosol time-of-flight mass spectrometer (UF-ATOFMS) while the particles' hygroscopicity was determined through measuring CCN activation curves fit to a single parameter of hygroscopicity, kappa. The reaction is rapid, corresponding to atmospheric timescales of hours. At low to moderate HNO(3) exposures, the increase in the hygroscopicity of the particles is a linear function of the HNO(3)(g) exposure. The experimentally observed conversion rate was used to constrain a simple but accurate kinetic model. This model predicts that calcite particles will be rapidly converted into hygroscopic particles (kappa > 0.1) within 4 h for low HNO(3) mixing ratios (10 pptv) and in less than 3 min for 1000 pptv HNO(3). This suggests that the hygroscopic conversion of the calcite component of atmospheric mineral dust aerosol will be controlled by the availability of nitric acid and similar reactants, and not by the atmospheric residence time.