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Title: Aerosol measurements at a high-elevation site: composition, size, and cloud condensation nuclei activity

We present measurements of CCN concentrations and associated aerosol composition and size properties at a high-elevation research site in March 2011. CCN closure and aerosol hygroscopicity were assessed using simplified assumptions of bulk aerosol properties as well as a new method utilizing single particle composition and size to assess the importance of particle mixing state in CCN activation. Free troposphere analysis found no significant difference between the CCN activity of free tropospheric aerosol and boundary layer aerosol at this location. Closure results indicate that using only size and number information leads to adequate prediction, in the majority of cases within 50%, of CCN concentrations, while incorporating the hygroscopicity parameters of the individual aerosol components measured by single particle mass spectrometry adds to the agreement, in most cases within 20%, between predicted and measured CCN concentrations. For high-elevation continental sites, with largely aged aerosol and low amounts of local area emissions, a lack of chemical knowledge and hygroscopicity may not hinder models in predicting CCN concentrations. At sites influenced by fresh emissions or more heterogeneous particle types, single particle composition information may be more useful in predicting CCN concentrations and understanding the importance of particle mixing state on CCN activation.
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Resource Type:
Journal Article
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Journal Name: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 13(23):11839-11851
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States