Articles | Volume 14, issue 12
Research article
26 Jun 2014
Research article |  | 26 Jun 2014

A study of aerosol liquid water content based on hygroscopicity measurements at high relative humidity in the North China Plain

Y. X. Bian, C. S. Zhao, N. Ma, J. Chen, and W. Y. Xu

Abstract. Water can be a major component of aerosol particles, also serving as a medium for aqueous-phase reactions. In this study, a novel method is presented to calculate the aerosol liquid water content at high relative humidity based on measurements of aerosol hygroscopic growth factor, particle number size distribution and relative humidity in the Haze in China (HaChi) summer field campaign (July–August 2009) in the North China Plain. The aerosol liquid water content calculated using this method agreed well with that calculated using a thermodynamic equilibrium model (ISORROPIA II) at high relative humidity (>60%) with a correlation coefficient of 0.96. At low relative humidity (<60%), an underestimation was found in the calculated aerosol liquid water content by the thermodynamic equilibrium model. This discrepancy mainly resulted from the ISORROPIA II model, which only considered limited aerosol chemical compositions. The mean and maximum values of aerosol liquid water content during the HaChi campaign reached 1.69 × 10−4 g m−3 and 9.71 × 10−4 g m−3, respectively. A distinct diurnal variation of the aerosol liquid water content was found, with lower values during daytime and higher ones at night. The aerosol liquid water content depended strongly on the relative humidity. The aerosol liquid water content in the accumulation mode dominated the total aerosol liquid water content.

Final-revised paper