Natural new particle formation at the coastal Antarctic site Neumayer
- 1Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Am Handelshafen 12, 27570 Bremerhaven, Germany
- 2Finnish Meteorological Institute, Erik Palménin aukio 1, 00101 Helsinki, Finland
Abstract. We measured condensation particle (CP) concentrations and particle size distributions at the coastal Antarctic station Neumayer (70°39´ S, 8°15´ W) during two summer campaigns (from 20 January to 26 March 2012 and 1 February to 30 April 2014) and during the polar night between 12 August and 27 September 2014 in the particle diameter (Dp) range from 2.94 to 60.4 nm (2012) and from 6.26 to 212.9 nm (2014). During both summer campaigns we identified all in all 44 new particle formation (NPF) events. From 10 NPF events, particle growth rates could be determined to be around 0.90 ± 0.46 nm h−1 (mean ± SD; range: 0.4–1.9 nm h−1). With the exception of one case, particle growth was generally restricted to the nucleation mode (Dp < 25 nm) and the duration of NPF events was typically around 6.0 ± 1.5 h (mean ± SD; range: 4–9 h). Thus, in the surrounding area of Neumayer, particles did not grow up to sizes required for acting as cloud condensation nuclei. NPF during summer usually occurred in the afternoon in coherence with local photochemistry. During winter, two NPF events could be detected, though showing no ascertainable particle growth. A simple estimation indicated that apart from sulfuric acid, the derived growth rates required other low volatile precursor vapours.