Articles | Volume 11, issue 11
Research article
15 Jun 2011
Research article |  | 15 Jun 2011

Seasonal variations and vertical features of aerosol particles in the Antarctic troposphere

K. Hara, K. Osada, C. Nishita-Hara, and T. Yamanouchi

Abstract. Tethered balloon-borne aerosol measurements were conducted at Syowa Station, Antarctica during the 46th Japanese Antarctic expedition (2005–2006). The CN concentration reached a maximum in the summer, although the number concentrations of fine particles (Dp>0.3 μm) and coarse particles (Dp>2.0 μm) increased during the winter–spring. The CN concentration was 30–2200 cm−3 near the surface (surface – 500 m) and 7–7250 cm−3 in the lower free troposphere (>1500 m). During the austral summer, higher CN concentration was often observed in the lower free troposphere, where the number concentrations in fine and coarse modes were remarkably lower. The frequent appearance of higher CN concentrations in the free troposphere relative to continuous aerosol measurements at the ground strongly suggests that new particle formation is more likely to occur in the lower free troposphere in Antarctic regions. Seasonal variations of size distribution of fine-coarse particles show that the contribution of the coarse mode was greater in the winter–spring than in summer because of the dominance of sea-salt particles in the winter–spring. The number concentrations of fine and coarse particles were high in air masses from the ocean and mid-latitudes. Particularly, aerosol enhancement was observed not only in the boundary layer, but also in the lower free troposphere during and immediately after Antarctic haze events occurring in May, July and September.

Final-revised paper