Analysis of atmospheric particle growth based on vapor concentrations measured at the high-altitude GAW station Chacaltaya in the Bolivian Andes

Arto Heitto, Cheng Wu, Diego Alonso Aliaga Badani, Luis Blacutt, Xuemeng Chen, Yvette Gramlich, Liine Heikkinen, Wei Huang, Radovan Krejci, Paolo Laj, Isabel Moreno, Karine Sellegri, Fernando Velarde, Kay Weinhold, Alfred Wiedensohler, Qiaozhi Zha, Federico Bianchi, Marcos Andrade, Kari E. J. Lehtinen, Claudia MohrT. Yli-Juuti

Tutkimustuotos: ArtikkelijulkaisuArtikkeliTieteellinenvertaisarvioitu


Early growth of atmospheric particles is essential for their survival and ability to participate in cloud formation. Many different atmospheric vapors contribute to the growth, but even the main contributors still remain poorly identified in many environments, such as high-altitude sites. Based on measured organic vapor and sulfuric acid concentrations under ambient conditions, particle growth during new particle formation events was simulated and compared with the measured particle size distribution at the Chacaltaya Global Atmosphere Watch station in Bolivia (5240 m a.s.l.) during April and May 2018, as a part of the SALTENA (Southern Hemisphere high-ALTitude Experiment on particle Nucleation and growth) campaign. Despite the challenging topography and ambient conditions around the station, the simple particle growth model used in the study was able to show that the detected vapors were sufficient to explain the observed particle growth, although some discrepancies were found between modeled and measured particle growth rates. This study, one of the first of such studies conducted on high altitude, gives insight on the key factors affecting the particle growth on the site and helps to improve the understanding of important factors on high-altitude sites and the atmosphere in general. Low-volatility organic compounds originating from multiple surrounding sources such as the Amazonia and La Paz metropolitan area were found to be the main contributor to the particle growth, covering on average 65 % of the simulated particle mass in particles with a diameter of 30 nm. In addition, sulfuric acid made a major contribution to the particle growth, covering at maximum 37 % of the simulated particle mass in 30 nm particles during periods when volcanic activity was detected on the area, compared to around 1 % contribution on days without volcanic activity. This suggests that volcanic emissions can greatly enhance the particle growth.
LehtiAtmospheric Chemistry and Physics
DOI - pysyväislinkit
TilaJulkaistu - 30 tammik. 2024
OKM-julkaisutyyppiA1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä, vertaisarvioitu


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