Articles | Volume 10, issue 8
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 10, 3743–3757, 2010

Special issue: European Integrated Project on Aerosol-Cloud-Climate and Air...

Atmos. Chem. Phys., 10, 3743–3757, 2010

  21 Apr 2010

21 Apr 2010

Factors influencing the contribution of ion-induced nucleation in a boreal forest, Finland

S. Gagné1, T. Nieminen1, T. Kurtén2,1, H. E. Manninen1, T. Petäjä1, L. Laakso3,1, V.-M. Kerminen4,1, M. Boy1, and M. Kulmala1,5 S. Gagné et al.
  • 1Department of Physics, P.O. Box 64, University of Helsinki, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
  • 2Department of Chemistry, University of Copenhagen, 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 3School of Physical and Chemical Sciences, North-West University, Private Bag x6001, Potchefstroom 2520, South Africa
  • 4Finnish Meteorological Institute, P.O. Box 503, 00101 Helsinki, Finland
  • 5Department of Applied Environmental Science, Stockholm University, 10691 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract. We present the longest series of measurements so far (2 years and 7 months) made with an Ion-DMPS at the SMEAR II measurement station in Hyytiälä, Southern Finland. We show that the classification into overcharged (implying some participation of ion-induced nucleation) and undercharged (implying no or very little participation of ion-induced nucleation) days, based on Ion-DMPS measurements, agrees with the fraction of ion-induced nucleation based on NAIS measurements. Those classes are based on the ratio of ambient charged particle to steady-state charged particle concentration, known as the charging state. We analyzed the influence of different parameters on the contribution of ion-induced nucleation to the total particle formation rate. We found that the fraction of ion-induced nucleation is typically higher on warmer, drier and sunnier days compared to colder days with less solar radiation and a higher relative humidity. Also, we observed that bigger concentrations of new particles were produced on days with a smaller fraction of ion-induced nucleation. Moreover, sulfuric acid saturation ratios were smaller for days with a bigger fraction of ion-induced nucleation. Finally, we propose explanations on how these different parameters could influence neutral and ion-induced nucleation, and show that the different mechanisms seem to take place at the same time during an event. For example, we propose that these observed differences could be due to high temperature and low vapors' saturation ratios (water and sulfuric acid) increasing the height of the energy barrier a particle has to reach before it can grow and thus limiting neutral nucleation.

Final-revised paper