Articles | Volume 8, issue 24
12 Dec 2008
 | 12 Dec 2008

Direct determination of highly size-resolved turbulent particle fluxes with the disjunct eddy covariance method and a 12 – stage electrical low pressure impactor

A. Schmidt and O. Klemm

Abstract. During summer 2007, turbulent vertical particle mass and number fluxes were measured for a period of 98 days near the city centre of Münster in north-west Germany. For this purpose, a valve controlled disjunct eddy covariance system was mounted at 65 m a.g.l. on a military radio tower. The concentration values for 11 size bins with aerodynamic diameters (D50) from 0.03 to 10 μm were measured with an electrical low pressure impactor. After comparison with other fluxes obtained from 10 Hz measurements with the classical eddy covariance method, the loss of information concerning high frequent parts of the flux could be stated as negligible. The results offer an extended insight in the turbulent atmospheric exchange of aerosol particles by highly size-resolved particle fluxes covering 11 size bins and show that the city of Münster acts as a relevant source for aerosol particles.

Significant differences occur between the fluxes of the various particle size classes. While the total particle number flux shows a pattern which is strictly correlated to the diurnal course of the turbulence regime and the traffic intensity, the total mass flux exhibits a single minimum in the evening hours when coarse particles start to deposit.

As a result, a mean mass deposition of about 10 mg m−2 per day was found above the urban test site, covering the aerosol size range from 40 nm to 2.0 μm. By contrast, the half-hourly total number fluxes accumulated over the lower ELPI stages range from −4.29×107 to +1.44×108 particles m−2 s−1 and are clearly dominated by the sub-micron particle fraction of the impactor stages with diameters between 40 nm and 320 nm. The averaged number fluxes of particles with diameters between 2.0 and 6.4 μm show lower turbulent dynamics during daytime and partially remarkably high negative fluxes with mean deposition velocities of 2×10−3 m s−1 that appear temporary during noontime and in the evening hours.

Final-revised paper