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Title: Aerosol transport and wet scavenging in deep convective clouds: a case study and model evaluation using a multiple passive tracer analysis approach

The effect of wet scavenging on ambient aerosols in deep, continental convective clouds in the mid-latitudes is studied for a severe storm case in Oklahoma during the Deep Convective Clouds and Chemistry (DC3) field campaign. A new passive-tracer based transport analysis framework is developed to characterize the convective transport based on the vertical distribution of several slowly reacting and nearly insoluble trace gases. The passive gas concentration in the upper troposphere convective outflow results from a mixture of 47% from the lower level (0-3 km), 21% entrained from the upper troposphere, and 32% from mid-atmosphere based on observations. The transport analysis framework is applied to aerosols to estimate aerosol transport and wet-scavenging efficiency. Observations yield high overall scavenging efficiencies of 81% and 68% for aerosol mass (Dp < 1μm) and aerosol number (0.03< Dp < 2.5μm), respectively. Little chemical selectivity to wet scavenging is seen among observed submicron sulfate (84%), organic (82%), and ammonium (80%) aerosols, while nitrate has a much lower scavenging efficiency of 57% likely due to the uptake of nitric acid. Observed larger size particles (0.15 - 2.5μm) are scavenged more efficiently (84%) than smaller particles (64%; 0.03 - 0.15μm). The storm is simulated using the chemistrymore » version of the WRF model. Compared to the observation based analysis, the standard model underestimates the wet scavenging efficiency for both mass and number concentrations with low biases of 31% and 40%, respectively. Adding a new treatment of secondary activation significantly improves simulation results, so that the bias in scavenging efficiency in mass and number concentrations is reduced to <10%. This supports the hypothesis that secondary activation is an important process for wet removal of aerosols in deep convective storms.« less
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Journal Article
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Journal Name: Journal of Geophysical Research. D. (Atmospheres), 120(16):8448-8468
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States