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© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 03 Sep 2018

Research article | 03 Sep 2018

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Vertical profiles of sub-3 nm particles over the boreal forest

Katri Leino1, Janne Lampilahti1, Pyry Poutanen1, Riikka Väänänen1, Antti Manninen1, Stephany Buenrostro Mazon1, Lubna Dada1, Anna Nikandrova1, Daniela Wimmer1, Pasi P. Aalto1, Lauri R. Ahonen1, Joonas Enroth1, Juha Kangasluoma1, Petri Keronen1, Frans Korhonen1, Heikki Laakso1, Teemu Matilainen1, Erkki Siivola1, Hanna E. Manninen1,2, Katrianne Lehtipalo1, Veli-Matti Kerminen1, Tuukka Petäjä1, and Markku Kulmala1 Katri Leino et al.
  • 1Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research/Physics, Faculty of Science, P.O. Box 64, FI-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland
  • 2CERN, CH-1211Geneva 23, Switzerland

Abstract. This work presents airborne observations of sub-3nm particles in the lower troposphere and investigates new particle formation (NPF) within an evolving boundary layer (BL). We studied particle concentrations together with supporting gas and meteorological data inside the planetary BL over a boreal forest site in Hyytiälä, Southern Finland. The analysed data were collected during three flight measurement campaigns: May–June 2015, August 2015 and April–May 2017, including 27 morning and 26 afternoon vertical profiles. As a platform for the instrumentation, we used a Cessna 172 aircraft. The analysed flight data were collected horizontally within a 30-km distance from the SMEAR II station in Hyytiälä and vertically from 100metres above ground level up to 2700m. The number concentration of 1.5–3nm particles was observed to be, on average, the highest near the forest canopy top and to decrease with an increasing altitude during the mornings of NPF event days. This indicates that the precursor vapours emitted by the forest play a key role in NPF in Hyytiälä. During daytime, newly-formed particles were observed to grow in size and the particle population became more homogenous within the well-mixed BL in the afternoon. During undefined days in respect to NPF, we also detected an increase in concentrations of 1.5–3nm particles in the morning but not their growth in size, which indicates an interrupted NPF process during these undefined days. Vertical mixing was typically stronger during the NPF event days than during the undefined or non-event days.

Katri Leino et al.
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Status: final response (author comments only)
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Katri Leino et al.
Katri Leino et al.
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Short summary
This study presents airborne observations of particles, starting from 1.5 nm in diameter above the boreal forest from 100 m up to 2700 m. The aim was to study the extent of NPF and likely places for the nucleation. We found that the highest concentrations of 1.5–3 nm particles were above the forest canopy top in NPF event mornings and concentration was decreasing with increasing altitude. This would indicate the importance of gaseous precursors from the vegetation to NPF process in this area.
This study presents airborne observations of particles, starting from 1.5 nm in diameter above...