Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 9, 17335-17383, 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.
Aerosol number fluxes over the Amazon rain forest during the wet season
L. Ahlm1, E. D. Nilsson1, R. Krejci1, E. M. Mårtensson1, M. Vogt1, and P. Artaxo2
1Department of Applied Environmental Science, Stockholm University, Sweden
2Institute of Physics, University of São Paulo, Brazil

Abstract. Number fluxes of particles with diameter larger than 10 nm were measured with the eddy covariance method over the Amazon rain forest during the wet season as part of the LBA (The Large Scale Biosphere Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia) campaign 2008. The primary goal was to investigate whether sources or sinks dominate the aerosol number flux in the tropical rain forest-atmosphere system.

During the measurement campaign, from 12 March to 18 May, 60% of the particle fluxes pointed downward, which is a similar fraction to what has been observed over boreal forests. The particle transfer velocity vt increased with increasing friction velocity and the relation is described by the equation vt=2.4×10−3·u where u is the friction velocity.

Upward particle fluxes often appeared in the morning hours and seem to a large extent to be an effect of entrainment fluxes into a growing mixed layer rather than primary aerosol emission. In general, primary aerosol emission had a limited impact on the total aerosol number population in this study, possibly because the measured particle number fluxes reflect mostly particles less than approximately 200 nm.

The net deposition flux prevailed even in the absolute cleanest atmospheric conditions during the campaign and therefore cannot be explained only by deposition of anthropogenic particles. It seems that a significant contribution of secondary aerosol particles to the aerosol population is the most reasonable explanation for the net downward flux. This is an indication that secondary aerosol particles may dominate the aerosol number population in the Amazon boundary layer and that the contribution of primary aerosol particles may be low in terms of numbers. However, aerosol flux measurements should be repeated in a more remote area of the Amazon with less influence from anthropogenic sources before any final conclusions may be drawn.

Citation: Ahlm, L., Nilsson, E. D., Krejci, R., Mårtensson, E. M., Vogt, M., and Artaxo, P.: Aerosol number fluxes over the Amazon rain forest during the wet season, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 9, 17335-17383, doi:10.5194/acpd-9-17335-2009, 2009.
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