Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 9, 16483-16525, 2009
© Author(s) 2009. This work is distributed
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This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in ACP.
The role of mixing layer on changes of particle properties in lower troposphere
L. Ferrero1, E. Bolzacchini1, M. G. Perrone1, S. Petraccone1, G. Sangiorgi1, B. S. Ferrini1, C. Lo Porto1, Z. Lazzati1, D. Cocchi2, F. Bruno2, and F. Greco2
1POLARIS research center, Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Milano-Bicocca, Piazza della Scienza 1, 20126, Milano, Italy
2Department of Statistics "P. Fortunati", University of Bologna, Via delle Belle Arti 41, 40126, Bologna, Italy

Abstract. Vertical profiles of atmospheric particulate matter number concentration, size distribution and chemical composition were directly measured in the city of Milan, over three years (2005–2008) of field campaigns. An optical particle counter, a portable meteorological station and a miniaturized cascade impactor were deployed on a tethered balloon. Mixing layer height was estimated by PM dispersion along height. More than 300 PM vertical profiles were measured both in the winter and summer, mainly in clear and dry sky conditions. Under these conditions, no significant changes in NO3, SO42− or NH4+ into or over the mixing layer were found. From experimental measurements we observed changes in size distribution along height. An increase of the mean particle diameter, in the accumulation mode, passing through the mixing layer under stable conditions was highlighted; the mean relative growth was 2.1±0.1% in the winter and 3.9±0.3% in the summer. At the same time, sedimentation processes occurred across the ML height for coarse particles leading to a mean particle diameter reduction (14.9±0.6% in the winter and 10.7±1.0% in summer). A hierarchical statistical model for the PM size distribution has been developed to describe the aging process of the finest PM fraction along height. The proposed model is able to estimate the typical vertical profile that characterises launches within pre-specified groups. The mean growth estimated on the basis of the model was 1.9±0.5% in the winter and 6.1±1.2% in the summer, in accordance with experimental evidence.

Citation: Ferrero, L., Bolzacchini, E., Perrone, M. G., Petraccone, S., Sangiorgi, G., Ferrini, B. S., Lo Porto, C., Lazzati, Z., Cocchi, D., Bruno, F., and Greco, F.: The role of mixing layer on changes of particle properties in lower troposphere, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 9, 16483-16525, doi:10.5194/acpd-9-16483-2009, 2009.
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