A new method to determine the mixing state of light absorbing carbonaceous using the measured aerosol optical properties and number size distributions
- 1Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, School of Physics, Peking University, Beijing, China
- 2Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric research, Leipzig, Germany
- 3College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Peking University, Beijing, China
- 4Key Laboratory of Middle Atmosphere and Global Environment Observation, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
- 5Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences of CMA, Beijing, China
Abstract. In this paper, the mixing state of light absorbing carbonaceous (LAC) was investigated with a two-parameter aerosol optical model and in situ aerosol measurements at a regional site in the North China Plain (NCP). A closure study between the hemispheric backscattering fraction (HBF) measured by an integrating nephelometer and that calculated with a modified Mie model was conducted. A new method was proposed to retrieve the ratio of the externally mixed LAC mass to the total mass of LAC (rext-LAC) based on the assumption that the ambient aerosol particles were externally mixed and consisted of a pure LAC material and a core-shell morphology in which the core is LAC and the shell is a less absorbing material. A Monte Carlo simulation was applied to estimate the overall influences of input parameters of the algorithm to the retrieved rext-LAC. The diurnal variation of rext-LAC was analyzed and the PartMC-MOSAIC model was used to simulate the variation of the aerosol mixing state. Results show that, for internally mixed particles, the assumption of core-shell mixture is more appropriate than that of homogenous mixture which has been widely used in aerosol optical calculations. A significant diurnal pattern of the retrieved rext-LAC was found, with high values during the daytime and low values at night. The consistency between the retrieved rext-LAC and the model results indicates that the diurnal variation of LAC mixing state is mainly caused by the diurnal evolution of the mixing layer.