Articles | Volume 9, issue 24
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 9, 9381–9400, 2009
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 9, 9381–9400, 2009

  15 Dec 2009

15 Dec 2009

Aerosol number fluxes over the Amazon rain forest during the wet season

L. Ahlm1, E. D. Nilsson1, R. Krejci1, E. M. Mårtensson1, M. Vogt1, and P. Artaxo2 L. Ahlm et al.
  • 1Department of Applied Environmental Science, Stockholm University, Sweden
  • 2Institute of Physics, University of São Paulo, Brazil

Abstract. Number fluxes of particles with diameter larger than 10 nm were measured with the eddy covariance method over the Amazon rain forest during the wet season as part of the LBA (The Large Scale Biosphere Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia) campaign 2008. The primary goal was to investigate whether sources or sinks dominate the aerosol number flux in the tropical rain forest-atmosphere system.

During the measurement campaign, from 12 March to 18 May, 60% of the particle fluxes pointed downward, which is a similar fraction to what has been observed over boreal forests. The net deposition flux prevailed even in the absolute cleanest atmospheric conditions during the campaign and therefore cannot be explained only by deposition of anthropogenic particles. The particle transfer velocity vt increased with increasing friction velocity and the relation is described by the equation vt = 2.4×10−3×u* where u* is the friction velocity.

Upward particle fluxes often appeared in the morning hours and seem to a large extent to be an effect of entrainment fluxes into a growing mixed layer rather than primary aerosol emission. In general, the number source of primary aerosol particles within the footprint area of the measurements was small, possibly because the measured particle number fluxes reflect mostly particles less than approximately 200 nm. This is an indication that the contribution of primary biogenic aerosol particles to the aerosol population in the Amazon boundary layer may be low in terms of number concentrations. However, the possibility of horizontal variations in primary aerosol emission over the Amazon rain forest cannot be ruled out.

Final-revised paper