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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-245
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-245
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 20 Apr 2018

Research article | 20 Apr 2018

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This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of this manuscript was accepted for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP) and is expected to appear here in due course.

CCN measurements at the Princess Elisabeth Antarctica Research Station during three austral summers

Paul Herenz1, Heike Wex1, Alexander Mangold2, Quentin Laffineur2, Irina V. Gorodestkaya3,4, Zoë L. Fleming5, Marios Panagi5, and Frank Stratmann1 Paul Herenz et al.
  • 1Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research, Leipzig, Germany
  • 2Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium, Brussels, Belgium
  • 3Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, KU Leuven, Belgium
  • 4Centre for Environmental and Marine Sciences Department of Physics, University of Aveiro Campus Universitário de Santiago, Aveiro, Portugal
  • 5National Centre for Atmospheric Science, Department of Chemistry, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK

Abstract. For three austral summer seasons (2013–2016, each from December to February) aerosol particles arriving at the Belgian Antarctic research station Princess Elisabeth (PE), in Dronning Maud Land in East Antarctica were characterized in terms of number concentrations of total aerosol particles (NCN) and cloud condensation nuclei (NCCN), the particle number size distribution (PNSD), the aerosol particle hygroscopicity and the influence of the air mass origin on NCN and NCCN. In general NCN was found to range from 40 to 6700cm−3 with a median of 333cm−3, while NCCN was found to cover a range between less than 10 and 1300cm−3 for supersaturations (SS) between 0.1 and 0.7%. It is shown that the aerosol is Aitken mode dominated and is characterized by a significant amount of freshly, secondarily formed aerosol particles, with 94% and 36% of the aerosol particles are smaller than 90nm and ≈35nm, respectively. Measurements of the basic meteorological parameters as well as the history of the air masses arriving at the measurement station indicate that the station is influenced by both, continental air masses originating from the Antarctic inland ice sheet (continental events – CE) and marine air masses originating from the Southern Ocean (marine events – ME). CEs came along with rather constant NCN and NCCN values, which we denote to be Antarctic continental background concentrations. MEs however cause large fluctuations in NCN and NCCN caused by scavenging due to precipitation or new particle formation based on marine precursors. The application of Hysplit back trajectories in form of the potential source contribution function (PSCF) analysis indicate, that the region of the Southern Ocean is a potential source of Aitken mode particles. For particles larger than ≈110nm (CCN measured at SS of 0.1%) the Antarctic ice shelf regions were found to be a potential source region, most likely due to the emission of sea salt aerosol particles, released from snow particles from surface snow layers by sublimation, e.g., during periods of high wind speed, leading to drifting or blowing snow. On the basis of the PNSDs and NCCN, the critical diameter for cloud droplet activation and the aerosol particle hygroscopicity parameter κ were determined to be 110nm and 1, respectively, for a SS of 0.1%. The region of the Antarctic inland plateau however was not found to feature a significant source region for CN and CCN measured at the PE station in austral summer.

Paul Herenz et al.
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Interactive discussion
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Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version Supplement - Supplement
Paul Herenz et al.
Paul Herenz et al.
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Atmospheric aerosol particles were observed in Antarctica, at the Belgium Princess Elisabeth Station during three austral summers. Possible source regions for the particles were examined. Air that spent more than 90 % of the time during the past 10 days over Antarctica had low and stable number concentrations, while highest (new particle formation) and lowest (scavenging and wet deposition) concentrations were observed for air masses that were more strongly influenced by the Southern Ocean.
Atmospheric aerosol particles were observed in Antarctica, at the Belgium Princess Elisabeth...
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