Measurement report: Atmospheric new particle formation in a coastal agricultural site explained with binPMF analysis of nitrate CI-APi-TOF spectra

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The occurrence of new particle formation (NPF) events detected in a coastal agricultural site, at Qvidja, in Southwestern Finland, was investigated using the data measured with a nitrate ion-based chemicalionization atmospheric-pressure-interface time-of-flight (CI-APi-TOF) mass spectrometer. The binned positive matrix factorization method (binPMF) was applied to the measured spectra. It resulted in eight factors describing the time series of ambient gas and cluster composition at Qvidja during spring 2019. The most interesting factors related to the observed NPF events were the two factors with the highest mass-to-charge ratios, numbered 7 and 8, both having profiles with patterns of highly oxygenated organic molecules with one nitrogen atom. It was observed that factor 7 had elevated intensities during the NPF events. A variable with an even better connection to the observed NPF events is f(F7), which denotes the fraction of the total spectra within the studied mass-to-charge ratio range between 169 and 450Th being in a form of factor 7. Values of f(F7) higher than 0.50 +/- 0.05 were observed during the NPF events, of which durations also correlated with the duration of f(F7) exceeding this critical value. It was also observed that factor 8 acts like a precursor for factor 7 with solar radiation and that the formation of factor 8 is associated with ozone levels.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAtmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)8097–8115
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jun 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 114 Physical sciences
  • ION
  • H2SO4

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