Articles | Volume 15, issue 8
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 15, 4045–4061, 2015

Special issue: Carbonaceous Aerosols and Radiative Effects Study (CARES)

Atmos. Chem. Phys., 15, 4045–4061, 2015

Research article 17 Apr 2015

Research article | 17 Apr 2015

Aerosol optical hygroscopicity measurements during the 2010 CARES campaign

D. B. Atkinson1, J. G. Radney1,*, J. Lum1, K. R. Kolesar2, D. J. Cziczo3, M. S. Pekour4, Q. Zhang5, A. Setyan5,**, A. Zelenyuk4, and C. D. Cappa2 D. B. Atkinson et al.
  • 1Department of Chemistry, Portland State University, Portland, OR, 97207, USA
  • 2Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Davis, CA, 95616, USA
  • 3Earth, Atmosphere and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, 02139, USA
  • 4Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA, 99352, USA
  • 5Department of Environmental Toxicology, University of California, Davis, CA, 95616, USA
  • *now at: Material Measurement Laboratory, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, Maryland, 20899, USA
  • **now at: Empa, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, 8600 Dübendorf, Switzerland

Abstract. Measurements of the effect of water uptake on particulate light extinction or scattering made at two locations during the 2010 Carbonaceous Aerosols and Radiative Effects Study (CARES) study around Sacramento, CA are reported. The observed influence of water uptake, characterized through the dimensionless optical hygroscopicity parameter γ, is compared with calculations constrained by observed particle size distributions and size-dependent particle composition. A closure assessment has been carried out that allowed for determination of the average hygroscopic growth factors (GFs) at 85% relative humidity and the dimensionless hygroscopicity parameter κ for oxygenated organic aerosol (OA) and for supermicron particles (defined here as particles with aerodynamic diameters between 1 and 2.5 microns), yielding κ = 0.1–0.15 and 0.9–1.0, respectively. The derived range of oxygenated OA κ values are in line with previous observations. The relatively large values for supermicron particles is consistent with substantial contributions of sea-salt-containing particles in this size range. Analysis of time-dependent variations in the supermicron particle hygroscopicity suggest that atmospheric processing, specifically chloride displacement by nitrate and the accumulation of secondary organics on supermicron particles, can lead to substantial depression of the observed GF.

Short summary
This work describes an analysis of measurements of the influence of water uptake on the light-scattering properties of sub- and supermicron-sized particles as observed in the Sacramento, CA, USA region during the 2010 CARES field campaign. The observations are used to derive campaign-average effective hygroscopicity parameters for submicron oxygenated organic aerosol and for supermicron particles, and the influence of chloride displacement reactions on particle hygroscopicity is examined.
Final-revised paper