Articles | Volume 9, issue 13
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 9, 4295–4300, 2009
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 9, 4295–4300, 2009

  03 Jul 2009

03 Jul 2009

Freezing of water droplets colliding with kaolinite particles

E. A. Svensson1, C. Delval2,3, P. von Hessberg2, M. S. Johnson2, and J. B. C. Pettersson1 E. A. Svensson et al.
  • 1Department of Chemistry, Atmospheric Science, University of Gothenburg, 41296 Gothenburg, Sweden
  • 2Copenhagen Centre for Atmospheric Research, Department of Chemistry, University of Copenhagen, Universitetsparken 5, 2100 København Ø, Denmark
  • 3EPFL STI IMT LOA, Station 17, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland

Abstract. Contact freezing of single supercooled water droplets colliding with kaolinite dust particles has been investigated. The experiments were performed with droplets levitated in an electrodynamic balance at temperatures from 240 to 268 K. Under relatively dry conditions (when no water vapor was added) freezing was observed to occur below 249 K, while a freezing threshold of 267 K was observed when water vapor was added to the air in the chamber.

The effect of relative humidity is attributed to an influence on the contact freezing process for the kaolinite-water droplet system, and it is not related to the lifetime of the droplets in the electrodynamic balance. Freezing probabilities per collision were derived assuming that collisions at the lowest temperature employed had a probability of unity. Mechanisms for contact freezing are briefly discussed.

Final-revised paper