Secondary aerosol formation in marine Arctic environments: a model measurement comparison at Ny-Ålesund

Carlton Xavier, Metin Baykara, Robin Wollesen de Jonge, Barbara Altstädter, Petri Sebastian Clusius, Ville Vakkari, Roseline Thakur, Lisa Beck, Silvia Becagli, Mirko Severi, Rita Traversi, Radovan Krejci, Peter Tunved, Mauro Mazzola, Birgit Wehner, Mikko Sipilä, Markku Kulmala, Michael Boy, Roldin Pontus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


In this study, we modeled the aerosol particle formation along air mass trajectories arriving at the remote Arctic research stations Gruvebadet (67 m a.s.l) and Zeppelin (474 m a.s.l), Ny-Ålesund during May 2018. The aim of this study was to improve our understanding of processes governing secondary aerosol formation in remote Arctic marine environments. We run the Lagrangian chemistry transport model ADCHEM, along air mass trajectories generated with FLEXPART v10.4. The air masses arriving at Ny-Ålesund spend most of their time over the open ice-free ocean. In order to capture the secondary aerosol formation from the DMS emitted by phytoplankton on the ocean surface, we implemented a recently developed comprehensive DMS and halogen multi-phase oxidation chemistry scheme, coupled with the widely used Master Chemical Mechanism (MCM).
The modeled median particle number size distributions are in close agreement with the observations in the marine influenced boundary layer at near sea surface Gruvebadet site. However, while the model reproduces the accumulation mode particle number concentrations at Zeppelin, it overestimates the Aitken mode particle number concentrations by a factor of ~5.5. We attribute this to the deficiency of the model to capture the complex orographic effects on the boundary layer dynamics at Ny-Ålesund. The model also reproduces the average vertical particle number concentration profiles within the boundary layer (0-600 m a.s.l.) above Gruvebadet, as measured with Condensation Particle Counters (CPCs) on board an Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS).
The model successfully reproduces the observed Hoppel minima, often seen in particle number size distributions at Ny-Ålesund. The model also supports the previous experimental findings that ion mediated H2SO4-NH3 nucleation can explain the observed new particle formation in the marine Arctic boundary layer in the vicinity of Ny-Ålesund. Precursors resulting from gas and aqueous phase DMS chemistry contribute to the subsequent growth of the secondary aerosols. The growth of particles is primarily driven via H2SO4 condensation and formation of methane sulfonic acid (MSA) through the aqueous-phase ozonolysis of methane sulfinic acid (MSIA) in cloud and deliquescent droplets.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAtmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Issue number15
Pages (from-to)10023–10043
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 4 Aug 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 114 Physical sciences
  • 1171 Geosciences
  • DMS
  • ION

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