Articles | Volume 11, issue 12
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 11, 5591–5601, 2011

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

Atmos. Chem. Phys., 11, 5591–5601, 2011

Research article 16 Jun 2011

Research article | 16 Jun 2011

Particle concentration and flux dynamics in the atmospheric boundary layer as the indicator of formation mechanism

J. Lauros1, A. Sogachev2, S. Smolander1, H. Vuollekoski1, S.-L. Sihto1, I. Mammarella1, L. Laakso1,3,4, Ü. Rannik1, and M. Boy1 J. Lauros et al.
  • 1Department of Physics, University of Helsinki, Finland
  • 2Wind Energy Division, Risø National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy, Technical University of Denmark, Roskilde, Denmark
  • 3Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, Finland
  • 4School of Physical and Chemical Sciences, North-West University, Potchefstroom, Republic of South Africa

Abstract. We carried out column model simulations to study particle fluxes and deposition and to evaluate different particle formation mechanisms at a boreal forest site in Finland. We show that kinetic nucleation of sulphuric acid cannot be responsible for new particle formation alone as the simulated vertical profile of particle number concentration does not correspond to observations. Instead organic induced nucleation leads to good agreement confirming the relevance of the aerosol formation mechanism including organic compounds emitted by the biosphere.

The simulation of aerosol concentration within the atmospheric boundary layer during nucleation event days shows a highly dynamical picture, where particle formation is coupled with chemistry and turbulent transport. We have demonstrated the suitability of our turbulent mixing scheme in reproducing the most important characteristics of particle dynamics within the boundary layer. Deposition and particle flux simulations show that deposition affects noticeably only the smallest particles in the lowest part of the atmospheric boundary layer.

Final-revised paper