22 Aug 2022
22 Aug 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Role of K-feldspar and quartz in global ice nucleation by mineral dust in mixed-phase clouds

Marios Chatziparaschos1,2, Nikos Daskalakis3, Stelios Myriokefalitakis4, Nikos Kalivitis1, Athanasios Nenes2,7, Maria Gonçalves Ageitos5,6, Montserrat Costa-Surós5, Carlos Pérez García-Pando5,10, Medea Zanoli3, Mihalis Vrekoussis3,8,9, and Maria Kanakidou1,2,3 Marios Chatziparaschos et al.
  • 1Environmental Chemical Processes Laboratory (EPCL), Department of Chemistry, University of Crete, Heraklion
  • 2Center for the Study of Air Quality and Climate Change (C-STACC), Institute of Chemical Engineering Sciences (ICE-HT), Foundation for Research and Technology, Hellas) (FORTH), Patras, Greece
  • 3Laboratory for Modelling and Observation of the Earth System (LAMOS), Institute of Environmental Physics (IUP), University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany
  • 4Institute for Environmental Research and Sustainable Development, National Observatory of Athens (NOA), GR-15236 Palea Penteli, Greece
  • 5Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC), Barcelona, Spain
  • 6Department of Project and Construction Engineering, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya – Barcelona TECH (UPC), Barcelona, Spain
  • 7Laboratory of Atmospheric Processes and their Impacts (LAPI), School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering (ENAC), Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Switzerland
  • 8Center of Marine Environmental Sciences (MARUM), University of Bremen, Germany
  • 9Climate and Atmosphere Research Center (CARE-C), The Cyprus Institute, Nicosia, Cyprus Laboratory of Atmospheric
  • 10ICREA, Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies, Barcelona, Spain

Abstract. Ice formation is enabled by Ice Nucleating Particles (INP) at higher temperatures than homogeneous formation and can profoundly affect the microphysical and radiative properties, lifetimes, and precipitation rates of clouds. Mineral dust emitted from arid regions, particularly potassium-containing feldspar (K-feldspar), has been shown to be the most efficient INP through immersion freezing in mixed-phase clouds. However, despite quartz having a significantly lower ice nuclei activity, it is more abundant than K-feldspar in atmospheric desert dust, and therefore may be a significant source of INP. In this contribution, we test this hypothesis by investigating the global and regional importance of quartz as a contributor to INP in the atmosphere relative to K-feldspar. We have extended a global 3-D chemistry transport model (TM4-ECPL) to predict INP concentrations from both K-feldspar and quartz mineral dust particles with state-of-the-art parameterizations using the ice nucleation active surface site approach for immersion freezing. Our results show that K-feldspar remains the most important contributor to INP concentrations globally, but also the contribution of quartz can be significant, for example reaching up to 60 % over Eurasia at 700 hPa and up to 4 across the middle and high latitudes of the Southern Hemisphere. Importantly, our calculations show that quartz may affect different cloud level regimes (low-level clouds) than K-feldspar (mid-level clouds). Additionally, the consideration of quartz INP improves the comparison between simulations and observations at low temperatures. Our simulated INP concentrations predict ~51 % of the observations gathered from different campaigns within an order of magnitude and ~69 % within one and a half order of magnitude, despite the omission of other potentially important INP aerosol precursors like marine bioaerosols. All in all, our findings support the importance of considering quartz in addition to K-feldspar as INP in climate models and highlight the need of further constraining their abundance in arid soil-surfaces along with their abundance, size distribution and mixing state in the emitted dust atmospheric particles.

Marios Chatziparaschos et al.

Status: open (until 03 Oct 2022)

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Marios Chatziparaschos et al.

Marios Chatziparaschos et al.


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Short summary
Ice formation is enabled by Ice Nucleating Particles (INP) at higher temperatures than homogeneous formation and can profoundly affect the properties of clouds. Our global model results show that additionally to k-feldspar dust mineral that is globally the most important INP precursor, quartz, which is abundant in mineral dust, can be regionally significant, affecting different cloud level regimes (low-level clouds) than K-feldspar (mid-level clouds).