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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
24 Oct 2016
Review status
A revision of this discussion paper is under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).
Investigation of new particle formation at the summit of Mt. Tai, China
Ganglin Lv1, Xiao Sui1, Jianmin Chen1,2, Rohan Jayaratne3, and Abdelwahid Mellouki1,4 1School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Environment Research Institute, Shandong University, Jinan, Shandong 250100, China
2Shanghai Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Particle Pollution and Prevention (LAP3), Institute of Atmospheric Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China
3International Laboratory for Air Quality and Health, Science and Engineering Faculty, Queensland University of Technology, GPO Box 2434, Brisbane QLD 4001, Australia
4Institut de Combustion, Aérothermique, Réactivitéet Environnement, CNRS, 45071 Orléans cedex 02, France
Abstract. To date very few field observations of new particle formation (NPF) have been carried out at the high-elevation mountain sites in China. Simultaneously measurements of particle size distributions, gas species, meteorological conditions and PM2.5 were performed at the summit of Mt. Tai (1530 m ASL) from 25 July to 24 October 2014 (І), 21 September to 9 December 2014 (И) and 16 June to 7 August 2015 (Ш). The results showed that: (i) 66 NPF events were observed during 164 days, corresponding to an occurrence frequency of 40 %. Formation rates, growth rates and condensation sinks were in the range of 1.10–57.43 cm−3 s−1, 0.58–7.76 nm h−1 and 0.40 × 10−2–6.32 × 10−2 s−1, respectively, and Mt. Tai appeared to show the larger formation rate and smaller growth rate relative to other locations in China. The mean value of sulfur dioxide on NPF days was 46 % higher than that on non-NPF days, and a higher sulfur dioxide concentration could improve the possibility of rich precursors for NPF. (ii) Sulfuric acid condensation contributed to 16.20 % of growth rate, and sulfuric acid proxy showed an obvious correlation with total particle concentration of 3–6 nm (N3–6 nm). (iii) Low PM2.5 was favourable for nucleation, and NPF days with limited higher PM2.5 seemed to have larger growth rates which might be related to particles recombination in close sizes. Four NPF events were observed on haze episodes, which could be promoted by potential specific mechanisms or pollutants. (iv) Particles formed via NPF on both clean and polluted days mainly contributed to Aiken mode eventually, and PM2.5 variation was always in accordance with particle total volume concentration.

Citation: Lv, G., Sui, X., Chen, J., Jayaratne, R., and Mellouki, A.: Investigation of new particle formation at the summit of Mt. Tai, China, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., doi:10.5194/acp-2016-806, in review, 2016.
Ganglin Lv et al.
Ganglin Lv et al.
Ganglin Lv et al.


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Short summary
Most studies of new particle formation (NPF) in China centre on urban/suburban/rural environment and very few are carried out on mountains. The paper makes a comprehensive investigation of NPF at the summit of Mt. Tai (1530 m ASL), and it focuses on specific particle behaviors on typical conditions. NPF events on clean/polluted and haze/non-haze episodes are particularly discussed, and PM2.5 is also the critical variable on NPF days and it may exist in potential impacts on particle growth.
Most studies of new particle formation (NPF) in China centre on urban/suburban/rural environment...