In situ measurements of aerosols optical properties and number size distributions in a subarctic coastal region of Norway
1Universidad de Valladolid, Grupo de Óptica Atmosférica, Spain
2Universidade da Beira Interior, Faculdade de Ciências, Covilhã, Portugal
3Instituto Dom Luis, Portugal
4Finnish Meteorological Institute, Climate Change Unit, Helsinki, Finland
*now at: Universidad de Concepción, Center for Optics and Photonics, Chile
Abstract. In situ measurements of aerosol optical properties were made in the summer of 2008 at the ALOMAR station facility (69°16 N, 16°00 E), located at a rural site in the north of the island of Andøya (Vesterålen archipelago), approximately 300 km north of the Arctic Circle. The extended three-month campaign was part of the POLARCAT Project (Polar Study using Aircraft, Remote Sensing, Surface Measurements and Models, of Climate, Chemistry, Aerosols, and Transport) of the International Polar Year (IPY-2007-2008). Its goal was to characterize the aerosols of this sub-Arctic area, which are frequently transported to the Arctic region. The ambient light-scattering coefficient, σs (550 nm), at ALOMAR had a measured hourly mean value of 5.41 Mm−1 (StD = 3.55 Mm−1), and the light-absorption coefficient, σa (550 nm), had a measured hourly mean value of 0.40 Mm−1 (StD = 0.27 Mm−1). The scattering/absorption Ångström exponents, αs,a, are used for a detailed analysis of the variations of the spectral shape of σs,a. Whereas αs demonstrates the presence of two particle sizes corresponding to two types of aerosols, the αa demonstrates only one type of absorbing aerosol particles. Values of αa above 1 were not observed. The single-scattering albedo, ω0, ranged from 0.62 to 0.99 (mean = 0.91, StD = 0.05), and the relationships of this property to the absorption/scattering coefficients and the Ångström exponents are presented. The concentration of the particles was monitored using a scanning mobility particle sizer (SMPS), an aerodynamic particle sizer (APS) and an ultrafine condensation particle counter (UCPC). The shape of the median size distribution of the particles in the submicrometer fraction was bimodal, and the submicrometer, micrometer and total concentrations presented hourly mean values of 1277 cm3 (StD = 1563 cm3), 1 cm3 (StD = 1 cm3) and 2463 cm3 (StD = 4251 cm3), respectively. The modal correlations were investigated, and the concentration of particles sized between 30 and 100 nm (Aitken mode) are presented as a function of the concentration of the particles sized between 100 and 390 nm (accumulation mode). The optical and the microphysical parameters are related to each other, and the results are presented. The origins and pathways of air masses were examined by computing the back-trajectories in a trajectory model (HYSPLIT). Six geographical sectors were defined to classify the air masses, and, based on the sector classification, the linkage between the air mass origin and the optical parameters was established. Aerosol size distributions were also evaluated in relation to the air masses. The relationships between the air mass origins and other parameters, especially those related to the single scattering albedo, allow us to describe two characteristic situations: northern and western air masses, which had predominantly marine aerosols, presented lower optical parameter values, indicating predominantly coarser and non-absorbent particles; and eastern and southern air masses, in which continental aerosols were predominant, presented higher values for all optical parameters, indicating the presence of smaller absorbent particles.