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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.

Sullivan, RC, Moore MJK, Petters MD, Kreidenweis SM, Qafoku O, Laskin A, Roberts GC, Prather KA.  2010.  Impact of particle generation method on the apparent hygroscopicity of insoluble mineral particles. Aerosol Science and Technology. 44:830-846.   10.1080/02786826.2010.497514   AbstractWebsite

Calcite (CaCO(3)) mineral particles are commonly generated by atomization techniques to study their heterogeneous chemistry, hygroscopicity, and cloud nucleation properties. Here we investigate the significant artifact introduced in generating calcium mineral particles through the atomization of a saturated suspension of the powder in water, by measuring particle hygroscopicity via CCN activation curves. Particles produced from atomization displayed hygroscopicities as large as kappa(app) > 0.1, 100 times more hygroscopic than that obtained for dry-generated calcite, kappa(app) = 0.0011. The hygroscopicity of the wet-generated particles increased as a function of time the calcite powder spent in water, and with decreasing particle size. Wet-generated calcium oxalate was more hygroscopic through wet- (kappa(app) = 0.34) versus dry-generation (kappa(app) = 0.048). Atomized calcium sulfate particles, however, were only slightly more hygroscopic (kappa(app) = 0.0045) than those generated dry (kappa(app) = 0.0016). Single-particle analysis by ATOFMS and SEM/EDX, and bulk analysis of the calcite powders by ICP-MS and IC revealed no significant soluble contaminants. The atomized particles were likely composed of components that dissolved from the powder and then re-precipitated, and appeared to contain little of the original mineral powder. The increased hygroscopicity of atomized calcite may have been caused by aqueous carbonate chemistry producing Ca(OH)(2), Ca(HCO(3))(2), and metastable hydrates with increased solubility. Surface water adsorption may have also played a role, in addition to uncharacterized soluble components produced by wet-generation, and the precipitation of amorphous phases including glassy states. This study suggests that using wet-generation methods to suspend mineral dust samples will not produce particles with the correct physicochemical properties in laboratory studies, a finding which has important implications for past and future laboratory studies focusing on understanding relationships between the hygroscopicity and chemistry of mineral dust particles.

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.