23 Dec 2021

23 Dec 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Mexican agricultural soil dust as a source of ice nucleating particles

Diana L. Pereira1,2, Irma Gavilán3, Consuelo Letechipía4, Graciela B. Raga1, Teresa Pi Puig5, Violeta Mugica-Álvarez6, Harry Alvarez-Ospina7, Irma Rosas1, Leticia Martinez1, Eva Salinas1, Erika T. Quintana8, Daniel Rosas9, and Luis A. Ladino1 Diana L. Pereira et al.
  • 1Instituto de Ciencias de la Atmósfera y Cambio Climático, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City, Mexico
  • 2Posgrado de Ciencias Químicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City, Mexico
  • 3Facultad de Química, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City, Mexico
  • 4Unidad Académica de Estudio Nucleares, Universidad Autónoma de Zacatecas, Zacatecas, Mexico
  • 5Instituto de Geología & LANGEM, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City, Mexico
  • 6Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana- Azcapotzalco, Mexico City, Mexico
  • 7Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City, Mexico
  • 8Escuela Nacional de Ciencias Biológicas, Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Mexico City, Mexico
  • 9Facultad de Química, Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán, Mérida, Mexico

Abstract. Agricultural soil erosion, both mechanical and eolic, may impact cloud processes as some aerosol particles are able to facilitate ice crystals formation. Given the large agricultural sector in Mexico, this study investigates the ice nucleating abilities of agricultural dust collected at different sites and generated in the laboratory. The immersion freezing mechanism of ice nucleation was simulated in the laboratory via the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)- Micro Orifice Uniform Deposit Impactor (MOUDI)-Droplet freezing technique (DFT) (UNAM-MOUDI-DFT). The results show that agricultural dust from the Mexican territory promote ice formation in a temperature range from −11.8 ºC to −34.5 ºC, with ice nucleating particle (INP) concentrations between 0.11 L−1 and 41.8 L−1. Furthermore, aerosol samples generated in the laboratory are more efficient than those collected in the field, with T50 values (i.e., the temperature at which 50 % of the droplets freeze) higher by more than 2.9 ºC. The mineralogical analysis indicated a high concentration of feldspars i.e., K-feldspar and plagioclase (> 40 %) in most of the aerosol and soil samples, with K-feldspar significantly correlated with the T50 of particles with sizes between 1.8 µm and 3.2 µm. Similarly, the organic carbon (OC) was correlated with the efficiency of aerosol samples from 3.2 µm to 5.6 µm and 1.0 µm to 1.8 µm. Finally, a decrease in the efficiency as INPs, after heating the samples at 300 ºC for 2 h, evidenced that the organic matter from agricultural soils can influence the role of INPs in mixed-phase clouds.

Diana L. Pereira et al.

Status: open (until 03 Feb 2022)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on acp-2021-741', Anonymous Referee #2, 21 Jan 2022 reply
  • RC2: 'Comment on acp-2021-741', Anonymous Referee #1, 22 Jan 2022 reply

Diana L. Pereira et al.

Diana L. Pereira et al.


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Short summary
Airborne particles were i) collected in an agricultural fields and ii) generated in the laboratory from agricultural soil samples to analyze their ice nucleating abilities. It was found that the size and chemical composition of the Mexican agricultural dust particles influence their ice nucleating behavior, where the organic components are likely responsible for their efficiency as INPs. The INP concentrations from the present study are comparable to those from higher latitudes.