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Coupling an aerosol box model with one-dimensional flow: a tool for understanding observations of new particle formation events

Kivekäs, N., Carpman, J., Roldin, P., Leppä, J., O'Connor, E. J., Kristensson, A. and Asmi, E. (2016) Coupling an aerosol box model with one-dimensional flow: a tool for understanding observations of new particle formation events. Tellus B, 68 (1). 29706. ISSN 1600-0889

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To link to this item DOI: 10.3402/tellusb.v68.29706

Abstract/Summary

Field observations of new particle formation and the subsequent particle growth are typically only possible at a fixed measurement location, and hence do not follow the temporal evolution of an air parcel in a Lagrangian sense. Standard analysis for determining formation and growth rates requires that the time-dependent formation rate and growth rate of the particles are spatially invariant; air parcel advection means that the observed temporal evolution of the particle size distribution at a fixed measurement location may not represent the true evolution if there are spatial variations in the formation and growth rates. Here we present a zero-dimensional aerosol box model coupled with one-dimensional atmospheric flow to describe the impact of advection on the evolution of simulated new particle formation events. Wind speed, particle formation rates and growth rates are input parameters that can vary as a function of time and location, using wind speed to connect location to time. The output simulates measurements at a fixed location; formation and growth rates of the particle mode can then be calculated from the simulated observations at a stationary point for different scenarios and be compared with the ‘true’ input parameters. Hence, we can investigate how spatial variations in the formation and growth rates of new particles would appear in observations of particle number size distributions at a fixed measurement site. We show that the particle size distribution and growth rate at a fixed location is dependent on the formation and growth parameters upwind, even if local conditions do not vary. We also show that different input parameters used may result in very similar simulated measurements. Erroneous interpretation of observations in terms of particle formation and growth rates, and the time span and areal extent of new particle formation, is possible if the spatial effects are not accounted for.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:65659
Publisher:Co-Action Publishing

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