15 Dec 2022
15 Dec 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Measurement Report: Wintertime new particle formation in the rural area of North China Plain: influencing factors and possible formation mechanism

Juan Hong1,2,, Min Tang1,2,, Qiaoqiao Wang1,2, Nan Ma1,2, Shaowen Zhu1,2, Shaobin Zhang1,2, Xihao Pan1,2, Linhong Xie1,2, Guo Li3, Uwe Kuhn3, Chao Yan4, Jiangchuan Tao1,2, Ye Kuang1,2, Yao He1,2, Wanyun Xu5, Runlong Cai6, Yaqing Zhou1,2, Zhibin Wang7, Guangsheng Zhou5, Bin Yuan1, Yafang Cheng3, and Hang Su3 Juan Hong et al.
  • 1Institute for Environmental and Climate Research, Jinan University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 511443, China
  • 2Guangdong-Hongkong-Macau Joint Laboratory of Collaborative Innovation for Environmental Quality, Guangzhou, China
  • 3Multiphase Chemistry Department, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Mainz 55128, Germany
  • 4School of Atmospheric Sciences, Joint International Research Laboratory of Atmospheric and Earth System Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing, China
  • 5Hebei Gucheng, Agrometeorology, National Observation and Research Station, Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, Beijing, 100081, China
  • 6Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research/Physics, Faculty of Science, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, FI00014, Finland
  • 7College of Environmental and Resource Sciences, Zhejiang University, Zhejiang Provincial Key Laboratory of Organic Pollution Process and Control, Hangzhou 310058, China
  • These authors contributed equally to this work.

Abstract. The high concentration of fine particles as well as gaseous pollutants makes polluted areas, such as the urban setting of North China Plain (NCP) of China, a different environment for NPF compared to many clean regions. Such conditions also hold for other polluted environments in this region, for instance, the rural area of NCP, yet the underlying mechanisms for NPF remain less understood owing to the limited observations of particles in the sub-3nm range. Comprehensive measurements, particularly covering the particle number size distribution down to 1.34 nm, were conducted at a rural background site of Gucheng (GC) in the North China Plain (NCP) from 12 November to 24 December in 2018. Five NPF events during the 39 effective days of measurements for the campaign were identified, with the mean particle nucleation rate (J1.34) and growth rate (GR1.34-2.4) were 29.1 cm-3·s-1 and 0.54 nm·h-1, respectively. During these five days, NPF concurrently occurred in an urban site in Beijing, indicating that NPF events during these days in this region might be a regional phenomena. This implies that H2SO4-amine nucleation, concluded for urban Beijing there, could also be the dominating mechanism for NPF at our rural site. The condensation sink or coagulation sink for the survival of newly-formed and small clusters are the dominating factor controlling the occurrence of NPF under current atmosphere, whereas the contribution from the available H2SO4 cannot be neglected, either. This feature is slightly different from that of urban Beijing, where CS mainly determines whether NPF takes place or not.

Juan Hong et al.

Status: open (until 11 Feb 2023)

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Juan Hong et al.

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Wintertime new particle formation in the rural area of North China Plain: influencing factors and possible formation mechanism Juan Hong, Min Tang, Qiaoqiao Wang, Nan Ma, Shaowen Zhu, Shaobin Zhang, Xihao Pan, Linhong Xie, Guo Li, Uwe Kuln, Chao Yan, Jiangchuan Tao, Ye Kuang, Yao He, Wanyun Xu, Yaqing Zhou, Zhibin Wang, Guangsheng Zhou, Bin Yuan, … Hang Su

Juan Hong et al.


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Short summary
Comprehensive investigation of the characteristics of new particle formation events was conducted at a rural site in the North China Plain (NCP) of China during the wintertime of 2018 by covering the particle number size distribution down to sub-3 nm. Potential mechanisms for NPF under current environment was explored, followed by further discussion on the factors governing the occurring of NPF at this rural site compared with other regions (e.g. urban areas) in NCP.