Spatial and temporal distribution of atmospheric aerosols in the lowermost troposphere over the Amazonian tropical rainforest
Abstract. We present measurements of aerosol physico-chemical properties below 5 km altitude over the tropical rain forest and the marine boundary layer (MBL) obtained during the LBA-CLAIRE 1998 project. The MBL aerosol size distribution some 50-100km of the coast of French Guyana and Suriname showed a bi-modal shape typical of aged and cloud processed aerosol. The average particle number density in the MBL was 383cm-3. The daytime mixed layer height over the rain forest for undisturbed conditions was estimated to be between 1200-1500m. During the morning hours the height of the mixed layer increased by 144-180mh-1. The median daytime aerosol number density in the mixed layer increased from 450cm-3 in the morning to almost 800cm-3 in the late afternoon. The evolution of the aerosol size distribution in the daytime mixed layer over the rain forest showed two distinct patterns. Between dawn and midday, the Aitken mode particle concentrations increased, whereas later during the day, a sharp increase of the accumulation mode aerosol number densities was observed, resulting in a doubling of the morning accumulation mode concentrations from 150cm-3 to 300cm-3. Potential sources of the Aitken mode particles are discussed here including the rapid growth of ultrafine aerosol particles formed aloft and subsequently entrained into the mixed layer, as well as the contribution of emissions from the tropical vegetation to Aitken mode number densities. The observed increase of the accumulation mode aerosol number densities is attributed to the combined effect of: the direct emissions of primary biogenic particles from the rain forest and aerosol in-cloud processing by shallow convective clouds. Based on the similarities among the number densities, the size distributions and the composition of the aerosol in the MBL and the nocturnal residual layer we propose that the air originating in the MBL is transported above the nocturnal mixed layer up to 300-400km inland over the rain forest by night without significant processing.