Articles | Volume 3, issue 2
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 3, 347–359, 2003
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 3, 347–359, 2003

  31 Mar 2003

31 Mar 2003

Particle formation at a continental background site: comparison of model results with observations

U. Uhrner1, W. Birmili2, F. Stratmann3, M. Wilck3, I. J. Ackermann4, and H. Berresheim5 U. Uhrner et al.
  • 1Institute for Tropospheric Research, Permoserstr. 15, 04318 Leipzig, Germany
  • 2Division of Environmental Health and Risk Management, Birmingham University, B15 2TT, UK
  • 3Institute for Tropospheric Research, Permoserstr. 15, 04318 Leipzig, Germany
  • 4Ford Research Centre Aachen, Süsterfeldstr. 200, 52072 Aachen, Germany
  • 5German Weather Service – Deutscher Wetterdienst, Meteorological Observatory Hohenpeissenberg, Albin-Schwaiger-Weg 10, 83282 Hohenpeissenberg, Germany

Abstract. At Hohenpeissenberg (47° 48' N, 11° 07' E, 988 m asl), a rural site 200--300~m higher than the surrounding terrain, sulphuric acid concentrations, particle size distributions, and other trace gas concentrations were measured over a two and a half year period. Measured particle number concentrations and inferred particle surface area concentrations were compared with box-model simulations for 12 carefully selected data sets collected during the HAFEX experiment (Birmili et al., 2003). The 12 cases were selected after meteorological and aerosol dynamical criteria in order to justify the use of a box-model. The aerosol model included a binary sulphuric acid water nucleation scheme. Calculated nucleation rates were corrected with a factor to match measured and calculated particle number concentrations. For the investigated 12 data sets, the correction factors were smallest for measurements made under stable thermal stratification and low wind conditions, i.e. conditions that are frequently encountered during winter. Correction factors were largest for measurements made under strong convective conditions.

Our comparison of measured and simulated particle size distributions suggests that the particle formation process maybe strongly influenced by mixing processes driven by thermal convection and/or wind sheer.

Final-revised paper