The Leipzig Cloud Interaction Simulator (LACIS): operating principle and theoretical studies concerning homogeneous and heterogeneous ice nucleation
1Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research, Department of Physics, 04318 Leipzig, Germany
2Michigan Technological University, Department of Physics, Houghton, Michigan 49931, USA
3Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Institute for Meteorology and Climate Research Atmospheric Aerosol Research Department, 76344 Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, Germany
Abstract. At the Leipzig Cloud Interaction Simulator (LACIS) experiments investigating homogeneous and heterogeneous nucleation of ice (particularly immersion freezing in the latter case) have been carried out. Here both the physical LACIS setup and the numerical model developed to design experiments at LACIS and interpret their results are presented in detail.
Combining results from the numerical model with experimental data, it was found that for the experimental parameter space considered, classical homogeneous ice nucleation theory is able to predict the freezing behavior of highly diluted ammonium sulfate solution droplets, while classical heterogeneous ice nucleation theory, together with the assumption of a constant contact angle, fails to predict the immersion freezing behavior of surrogate mineral dust particles (Arizona Test Dust, ATD). The main reason for this failure is the compared to experimental data apparently overly strong temperature dependence of the nucleation rate coefficient.
Assuming, in the numerical model, Classical Nucleation Theory (CNT) for homogeneous ice nucleation and a CNT-based parameterization for the nucleation rate coefficient in the immersion freezing mode, recently published by our group, it was found that even for a relatively effective ice nucleating agent such as pure ATD, there is a temperature range where homogeneous ice nucleation is dominant. The main explanation is the apparently different temperature dependencies of the two freezing mechanisms. Finally, reviewing the assumptions made during the derivation of the parameterization, it was found that the assumption of constant temperature during ice nucleation and the chosen nucleation time were highly justified, underlining the applicability of both the method to determine the fitting coefficients in the parameterization equation, and the validity of the parameterization concept itself.