23 Nov 2022
23 Nov 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Re-evaluating cloud chamber constraints on depositional ice growth in cirrus clouds – Part 1: Model description and sensitivity tests

Kara D. Lamb1, Jerry Y. Harrington2, Benjamin W. Clouser3, Elisabeth J. Moyer3, Laszlo Sarkozy3, Volker Ebert4,5, Ottmar Möhler6, and Harald Saathoff6 Kara D. Lamb et al.
  • 1Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA
  • 2Department of Meteorology and Atmospheric Science, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, USA
  • 3Department of the Geophysical Sciences, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA
  • 4Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB), 38116 Braunchweig, Germany
  • 5Institute of Physical Chemistry (PCI), University of Heidelberg, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
  • 6Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Karlsruhe, Germany

Abstract. Ice growth from vapor deposition is an important process for the evolution of cirrus clouds, but the physics of depositional ice growth at the low temperatures (<235 K) characteristic of the upper troposphere/lower stratosphere is not well understood. Surface attachment kinetics, generally parameterized as a deposition coefficient αD, are expected to limit growth rates in certain cases, but significant discrepancies between experimental measurements have not been satisfactorily explained. Experiments on single ice crystals have previously indicated the deposition coefficient is a function of temperature and supersaturation, consistent with growth mechanisms controlled by the crystal’s surface characteristics. Here we use observations from cloud chamber experiments in the AIDA Aerosol and Cloud Chamber to evaluate surface kinetic models in realistic cirrus conditions involving rapidly changing temperature, pressure, and ice supersaturation, so that depositional ice growth may evolve from diffusion-limited to surface kinetics-limited over the course of a single experiment. In part 1, we describe the adaptation of a Lagrangian parcel model with the Diffusion Surface Kinetics Ice Crystal Evolution (DiSKICE) model (Zhang and Harrington, 2014) to the AIDA Chamber experiments. We compare the observed ice water content and saturation ratios to that derived under varying assumptions for ice surface growth mechanisms for experiments simulating ice clouds between 180 and 235 K and pressures between 150 and 300 hPa. We found that both heterogeneous and homogeneous nucleation experiments at higher temperatures (> 205 K) could generally be modeled consistently with either a constant deposition coefficient or with the DiSKICE model assuming growth via abundant surface dislocations. Lower temperature experiments showed more significant deviations from any depositional growth model, with different ice growth rates for heterogeneous and homogeneous nucleation experiments.

Kara D. Lamb et al.

Status: open (until 04 Jan 2023)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on acp-2022-733', Jon Nelson, 09 Dec 2022 reply

Kara D. Lamb et al.

Kara D. Lamb et al.


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Short summary
This study investigates how ice grows directly from vapor in cirrus clouds by comparing observations of populations of ice crystals growing in a cloud chamber against models developed in the context of single crystal laboratory studies. We demonstrate that previous discrepancies between different experimental measurements do not necessarily point to different physical interpretations, but rather are due to assumptions that were made in terms of how experiments were modeled in previous studies.