Characterization of ambient aerosol from measurements of cloud condensation nuclei during the 2003 Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Aerosol Intensive Observational Period at the Southern Great Plains site in Oklahoma
Rissman, T. A.
VanReken, T. M.
Collins, D. R.
Brechtel, F. J.
Flagan, R. C.
Seinfeld, J. H.
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Measurements were made by a new cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) instrument (CCNC3) during the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program’s Aerosol Intensive Observational Period (IOP) in May 2003 in Lamont, Oklahoma. An inverse aerosol/CCN closure study is undertaken, in which the predicted number concentration of particles available for activation (NP) at the CCNC3 operating supersaturations is compared to that observed (NO). NP is based on Ko¨hler Theory, with assumed and inferred aerosol composition and mixing state, and the airborne aerosol size distribution measured by the Caltech Dual Automatic Classified Aerosol Detector (DACAD). An initial comparison of NO and NP, assuming the ambient aerosol is pure ammonium sulfate ((NH4)2SO4), results in closure ratios (NP/NO) ranging from 1.18 to 3.68 over the duration of the IOP, indicating that the aerosol is less hygroscopic than (NH4)2SO4. NP and NO are found to agree when the modeled aerosol population has characteristics of an external mixture of particles, in which insoluble material is preferentially distributed among particles with small diameters (<50 nm) and purely insoluble particles are present over a range of diameters. The classification of sampled air masses by closure ratio and aerosol size distribution is discussed in depth. Inverse aerosol/CCN closure analysis can be a valuable means of inferring aerosol composition and mixing state when direct measurements are not available, especially when surface measurements of aerosol composition and mixing state are not sufficient to predict CCN concentrations at altitude, as was the case under the stratified aerosol layer conditions encountered during the IOP.
Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 111, No. D5, D05S11,The article of record as published may be located at http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2004JD005695
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