Articles | Volume 12, issue 8
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 12, 3687–3697, 2012
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 12, 3687–3697, 2012

Research article 24 Apr 2012

Research article | 24 Apr 2012

Characterization of ions at Alpine waterfalls

P. Kolarž1,*, M. Gaisberger2,*, P. Madl3, W. Hofmann3, M. Ritter2, and A. Hartl2 P. Kolarž et al.
  • 1Institute of Physics, University of Belgrade, Pregrevica 118, 11080 Belgrade, Serbia
  • 2Institute of Physiology and Pathophysiology, Paracelsus Medical University, Strubergasse 21, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
  • 3Department of Materials Research and Physics, Division of Physics and Biophysics, University of Salzburg, Hellbrunner Str. 34, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
  • *These authors contributed equally to this work

Abstract. During a three-year field campaign of measuring waterfall generated ions, we monitored five different waterfalls in the Austrian Alps. Most measurements were performed at the Krimml waterfall (Salzburg, Austria), which is the biggest waterfall in Europe, and the Gartl waterfall (Mölltal, Austria). We characterized spatial, time and size distributions of waterfall-generated ions under the influence of surrounding topography. The smallest ions with boundary diameters of 0.9, 1.5 and 2 nm, were measured with a cylindrical air ion detector (CDI-06), while ion sizes from 5.5 to 350 nm were measured using a modified Grimm SMPS aerosol spectrometer. High negative ion concentration gradients are detected in the vicinity of the waterfalls, whereas the increase of positive ions was only moderate. Ions in the nano range were the most abundant at 2 nm, and at 120 nm in the sub-micrometer range.

Final-revised paper