Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 10, 22623-22652, 2010
© Author(s) 2010. This work is distributed
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Observation of new particle formation in subtropical urban environment
H. C. Cheung, L. Morawska, and Z. D. Ristovski
International Laboratory of Air Quality and Health, Queensland University of Technology, G.P.O. Box 2434, Brisbane QLD 4001, Australia

Abstract. The aim of this study was to characterise the new particle formation events in subtropical urban environment Southern Hemisphere. The study measured the number concentration of particles and its size distribution in Brisbane, Australia during 2009. The variation of particle number concentration and nucleation burst events were studied and the particle growth rate was characterised which was first reported in urban environment of Australia. The annual average NUFP, NAitken and Nnuc were 9.3×103, 3.7×103 and 5.6×103 cm−3, respectively. Weak seasonal variation in number concentration was observed. Local vehicle emission was major contributor of the pollution observed in the morning which was dominated by the Aitken mode particles, while particle formed by secondary formation process was contributed to the particle number concentration in the afternoon. 65 nucleation burst events were identified during the study period. Nucleation burst events were classified into two groups with and without particle growth after the burst of nucleation mode particles observed. Average particle growth rate of the nucleation events was 4.6 nm hr−1 (ranged from 1.79–7.78 nm hr−1). Case studies of the nucleation burst events were characterised including i) the nucleation burst with particle growth which was associated with the particle precursor emitted from local vehicle emission, ii) the nucleation burst without particle growth which was due to the transport of industrial emissions from the coast to Brisbane city, and iii) interplay between the above two cases which demonstrated the impact of the vehicle and industrial emissions on the variation of particle number concentration and its size distribution during the same day.

Citation: Cheung, H. C., Morawska, L., and Ristovski, Z. D.: Observation of new particle formation in subtropical urban environment, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 10, 22623-22652, doi:10.5194/acpd-10-22623-2010, 2010.
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