1"El Arenosillo" – Atmospheric Sounding Station, Atmospheric Research and Instrumentation Branch, INTA, Mazagón-Huelva, Spain
2Leibniz-Institute for Tropospheric Research, Leipzig, Germany
3Atmospheric Optics Group, University of Valladolid, Valladolid, Spain
4Department of Physics, University of Beira Interior, Covilhã, Portugal
*now at: Meteorological State Agency, AEMET, Canary Island, Spain
Abstract. This study is focused on the analysis of the sub-micron aerosol characteristics at rural and coastal environment in Southwestern Spain. Particle number size distributions were measured in the size range (14–673) nm using a Scanning Mobility Particle Sizer (SMPS, Model 3936-TSI), from 15 July 2004 to 31 July 2006 at El Arenosillo Station. Mean total concentration was 8660 cm−3 and mean concentrations for the nucleation, Aitken and accumulation modes particles were 2830 cm−3, 4110 cm−3 and 1720 cm−3, respectively. Mean geometric diameters of the four modes particles, which characterized the mean size distribution per month, were about 16 nm, 42 nm, 103 nm and 237 nm. Two kinds of episodes produced a maximum of the total concentration around noon: the new particle formation and the regional recirculation such as the sea-land breeze. Two types of nucleation events (called N$1 and N2) were observed. Events N1 were an example of the influence of regional sources and Events N2 showed the weight of local industries over the rural and coastal background levels. The 60% of nucleation events were related to NE and NW wind sectors (N1 and N2 respectively), a ΔT higher than 12 °C, a wind speed higher than 2.3 m s−1 and a total surface area for the accumulation mode particles below of 11 190 μ m2 cm−3. The influence of the sea-land breeze processes has been analyzed, observing increases of up to 50%, 110% and 90% of the particle concentration for the nucleation, Aitken and accumulation modes. Annual evolution of monthly averages allowed to conclude that the increase or decrease of 1 cm−3 of the concentration for nucleation mode particles was related to opposite trend of 0.5 cm−3 of the concentration for accumulation mode. This anti-correlation produced a weak seasonal evolution of the total particle concentration.