CCN activity of size-selected aerosol at a Pacific coastal location
- 1University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
- 2University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
- 3University of Denver, Denver, Colorado, USA
- 4Air Quality Science Unit, Environment Canada, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
- 5Climate Research Division, Environment Canada, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Abstract. As one aspect of the NETwork on Climate and Aerosols: addressing key uncertainties in Remote Canadian Environments (NETCARE), measurements of the cloud condensation nucleation properties of 50 and 100 nm aerosol particles were conducted at Ucluelet on the west coast of Vancouver Island in August 2013. The overall hygroscopicity parameter of the aerosol (κambient) exhibited a wide variation, ranging from 0.14 ± 0.05 to 1.08 ± 0.40 (where the uncertainty represents the systematic error). The highest κ values arose when the organic-to-sulfate ratio of the aerosol was lowest and when winds arrived from the west after transport through the marine boundary layer. The average κambient during this time was 0.57 ± 0.16, where the uncertainty represents the standard deviation. At most other times, the air was predominantly influenced by both marine and continental emissions, which had lower average PM1 κambient values (max value, 0.41 ± 0.08). The two-day average aerosol ionic composition also showed variation, but was consistently acidic and dominated by ammonium (18–56% by mole) and sulfate (19–41% by mole), with only minor levels of sodium or chloride. Average κorg (hygroscopicity parameter for the aerosol's organic component) values were estimated using PM1 aerosol composition data and by assuming that the ratio of aerosol organic to sulfate mass is related directly to the composition of the size-selected particles.