Articles | Volume 17, issue 24
Research article
22 Dec 2017
Research article |  | 22 Dec 2017

The Horizontal Ice Nucleation Chamber (HINC): INP measurements at conditions relevant for mixed-phase clouds at the High Altitude Research Station Jungfraujoch

Larissa Lacher, Ulrike Lohmann, Yvonne Boose, Assaf Zipori, Erik Herrmann, Nicolas Bukowiecki, Martin Steinbacher, and Zamin A. Kanji

Abstract. In this work we describe the Horizontal Ice Nucleation Chamber (HINC) as a new instrument to measure ambient ice-nucleating particle (INP) concentrations for conditions relevant to mixed-phase clouds. Laboratory verification and validation experiments confirm the accuracy of the thermodynamic conditions of temperature (T) and relative humidity (RH) in HINC with uncertainties in T of ±0.4 K and in RH with respect to water (RHw) of ±1.5 %, which translates into an uncertainty in RH with respect to ice (RHi) of ±3.0 % at T > 235 K. For further validation of HINC as a field instrument, two measurement campaigns were conducted in winters 2015 and 2016 at the High Altitude Research Station Jungfraujoch (JFJ; Switzerland, 3580 m a. s. l. ) to sample ambient INPs. During winters 2015 and 2016 the site encountered free-tropospheric conditions 92 and 79 % of the time, respectively. We measured INP concentrations at 242 K at water-subsaturated conditions (RHw = 94 %), relevant for the formation of ice clouds, and in the water-supersaturated regime (RHw = 104 %) to represent ice formation occurring under mixed-phase cloud conditions. In winters 2015 and 2016 the median INP concentrations at RHw = 94 % was below the minimum detectable concentration. At RHw = 104 %, INP concentrations were an order of magnitude higher, with median concentrations in winter 2015 of 2.8 per standard liter (std L−1; normalized to standard T of 273 K and pressure, p, of 1013 hPa) and 4.7 std L−1 in winter 2016. The measurements are in agreement with previous winter measurements obtained with the Portable Ice Nucleation Chamber (PINC) of 2.2 std L−1 at the same location. During winter 2015, two events caused the INP concentrations at RHw = 104 % to significantly increase above the campaign average. First, an increase to 72.1 std L−1 was measured during an event influenced by marine air, arriving at the JFJ from the North Sea and the Norwegian Sea. The contribution from anthropogenic or other sources can thereby not be ruled out. Second, INP concentrations up to 146.2 std L−1 were observed during a Saharan dust event. To our knowledge this is the first time that a clear enrichment in ambient INP concentration in remote regions of the atmosphere is observed during a time of marine air mass influence, suggesting the importance of marine particles on ice nucleation in the free troposphere.

Short summary
We characterize the new Horizontal Ice Nucleation Chamber HINC to measure ambient ice nucleating particle concentrations at mixed‐phase cloud conditions. Results from winter measurements at the High Altitude Research Station Jungfraujoch compare well to previous measurements. We find increased ice nucleating particle concentrations during the influence of Saharan dust events and marine events, which highlights the importance of these species on ice nucleation in the free troposphere.
Final-revised paper