Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 13, 14823-14869, 2013
© Author(s) 2013. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Review Status
This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in ACP.
Review and uncertainty assessment of size-resolved scavenging coefficient formulations for snow scavenging of atmospheric aerosols
L. Zhang1, X. Wang2, M. D. Moran1, and J. Feng3
1Air Quality Research Division, Science and Technology Branch, Environment Canada, 4905 Dufferin St, Toronto, Ontario, M3H 5T4, Canada
2Kellys Environmental Services, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
3Canadian Meteorological Centre, Meteorological Service of Canada, Environment Canada, 2121 Trans-Canada Highway, Dorval, Quebec, H9P 1J3, Canada

Abstract. Theoretical parameterizations for the size-resolved scavenging coefficient for atmospheric aerosol particles scavenged by snow (Λsnow) need assumptions regarding (i) snow particle–aerosol particle collection efficiency E, (ii) snow particle size distribution N(Dp), (iii) snow particle terminal velocity VD, and (iv) snow particle cross-sectional area A. Existing formulas for these parameters are reviewed in the present study and uncertainties in Λsnow caused by various combinations of these parameters are assessed. Different formulations of E can cause uncertainties in Λsnow of more than one order of magnitude for all aerosol sizes for typical snowfall intensities. E is the largest source of uncertainty among all the input parameters, similar to rain scavenging of atmospheric aerosols (Λrain) as was found in a previous study by Wang et al. (2010). However, other parameters can also cause significant uncertainties in Λsnow, and the uncertainties from these parameters are much larger than for Λrain. Specifically, different N(Dp) formulations can cause one-order-of-magnitude uncertainties in Λsnow for all aerosol sizes, as is also the case for a combination of uncertainties from both VD and A. In comparison, uncertainties in Λrain from N(Dp) are smaller than a factor of 5 and those from VD are smaller than a factor of 2. Λsnow estimated from one empirical formula generated from field measurements falls in the upper range of, or is slightly higher than, theoretically estimated values. The predicted aerosol concentrations obtained using different Λsnow formulas can differ by a factor of two for just a one-centimeter snowfall (liquid water equivalent of approximately 1 mm). It is likely that, for typical rain and snow event the removal of atmospheric aerosol particles by snow is more effective than removal by rain for equivalent precipitation amounts, although a firm conclusion requires much more evidence.

Citation: Zhang, L., Wang, X., Moran, M. D., and Feng, J.: Review and uncertainty assessment of size-resolved scavenging coefficient formulations for snow scavenging of atmospheric aerosols, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 13, 14823-14869, doi:10.5194/acpd-13-14823-2013, 2013.
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