Articles | Volume 4, issue 7
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 4, 1933–1943, 2004

Special issue: Quantification of aerosol nucleation in the European boundary...

Atmos. Chem. Phys., 4, 1933–1943, 2004

  29 Sep 2004

29 Sep 2004

Ion production rate in a boreal forest based on ion, particle and radiation measurements

L. Laakso1, T. Petäjä1, K. E. J. Lehtinen1, M. Kulmala1, J. Paatero2, U. Hõrrak3, H. Tammet3, and J. Joutsensaari4 L. Laakso et al.
  • 1Department of Physical Sciences, P.O. Box 64, FI-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland
  • 2Finnish Meteorological Institute, Air Quality Research, Sahaajankatu 20E, FIN-00880 Helsinki, Finland
  • 3Institute of Environmental Physics, University of Tartu, 18 Ülikooli Street, Tartu, 50090, Estonia
  • 4Department of Applied Physics, University of Kuopio, P.O. Box 1627, FIN-70211 Kuopio, Finland

Abstract. In this study the ion production rates in a boreal forest were studied based on two different methods: 1) cluster ion and particle concentration measurements, 2) external radiation and radon concentration measurements. Both methods produced reasonable estimates for ion production rates. The average ion production rate calculated from aerosol particle size distribution and air ion mobility distribution measurements was 2.6 ion pairs cm-3s-1, and based on external radiation and radon measurements, 4.5 ion pairs cm-3s-1. The first method based on ion and particle measurements gave lower values for the ion production rates especially during the day. A possible reason for this is that particle measurements started only from 3nm, so the sink of small ions during the nucleation events was underestimated. It may also be possible that the hygroscopic growth factors of aerosol particles were underestimated. Another reason for the discrepancy is the nucleation mechanism itself. If the ions are somehow present in the nucleation process, there could have been an additional ion sink during the nucleation days.

Final-revised paper