Roll vortices induce new particle formation bursts in the planetary boundary layer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Recent studies have shown the importance of new particle formation (NPF) to global cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) production, as well as to air pollution in megacities. In addition to the necessary presence of low-volatility vapors that can form new aerosol particles, both numerical and observational studies have shown that the dynamics of the planetary boundary layer (BL) plays an important role in NPF. Evidence from field observations suggests that roll vortices might be favorable for inducing NPF in a convective BL. However, direct observations and estimates of the potential importance of this phenomenon to the production of new aerosol particles are lacking. Here we show that rolls frequently induce NPF bursts along the horizontal circulations and that the small clusters and particles originating from these localized bursts grow in size similar to particles typically ascribed to atmospheric NPF that occur almost homogeneously at a regional scale. We outline a method to identify roll-induced NPF from measurements and, based on the collected data, estimate the impact of roll vortices on the overall aerosol particle production due to NPF at a boreal forest site (83% +/- 34% and 26% +/- 8% overall enhancement in particle formation for 3 and 10 nm particles, respectively). We conclude that the formation of roll vortices should be taken into account when estimating particle number budgets in the atmospheric BL.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAtmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Volume20
Issue number20
Pages (from-to)11841–11854
Number of pages14
ISSN1680-7324
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Oct 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 114 Physical sciences
  • NUCLEATION MODE PARTICLES
  • FORMATION EVENTS
  • BOREAL-FOREST
  • AIRBORNE MEASUREMENTS
  • CONVECTION
  • TURBULENCE
  • SPECTROMETER
  • AIRCRAFT
  • CLUSTER
  • FLUXES

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