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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-918
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-918
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 01 Oct 2018

Research article | 01 Oct 2018

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

Consequences of dynamic and timing properties of new aerosol particle formation and consecutive growth events

Imre Salma and Zoltán Németh Imre Salma and Zoltán Németh
  • Institute of Chemistry, Eötvös University, 1518 Budapest, P.O. Box 32, Hungary

Abstract. Dynamic properties, i.e. particle formation rate J6 and particle diameter growth rate GR10, and timing properties, i.e. starting time (t1) and duration time interval (Δt) of 247 quantifiable (class 1A) atmospheric new particle formation (NPF) and consecutive particle diameter growth events identified in the city centre and near-city background of Budapest over 6 full measurement years together with related gas-phase H2SO4 proxy, condensation sink (CS) of vapours, basic meteorological data and concentrations of criteria pollutant gases were derived, evaluated, discussed and interpreted. In the city centre, nucleation ordinarily starts at 09:15 UTC+1, and it is maintained for approximately 3h. The NPF and growth events produce 4.6 aerosol particles with a diameter of 6nm in 1cm3 of air in 1s, and cause the particles with a diameter of 10nm to grow with a typical rate of 7.3nmh−1. Nucleation starts approximately 1h earlier in the near-city background, it shows substantially smaller J6 (with a median of 2.0cm−3s−1) and GR10 values (with a median of 5.0nmh−1), while the duration of nucleation is similar to that in the centre. Monthly distributions of the dynamic properties and daily maximum H2SO4 proxy do not follow the mean monthly pattern of the event occurrence frequency. The factors that control the event occurrence and that govern the intensity of particle formation and growth are not directly linked. Condensing atmospheric chemical species and/or their processes in the city centre seem to contribute equally to new particle formation and particle growth. In the near-city background, however, chemical compounds available and their processes power particle growth more than particle formation. There is a minimum growth rate of approximately 1.8nmh−1 that is required for nucleated particles to reach the lower end of the diameter interval measured (6nm) under the actual/local conditions. Monthly distributions and relationships among the properties mentioned provided several indirect evidence that chemical species other than H2SO4 largely influence the particle growth and possibly atmospheric NPF process as well. The J6, GR10 and Δt can be described by log-normal distribution. Most of the extreme dynamic properties could not be explained by H2SO4 proxy, CS, meteorological data or pollutant gas concentrations. Approximately 40% of the NPF and growth events exhibited broad beginning, which can be an urban feature. For 9% of all cases, it was feasible to calculate 2 separate sets of dynamic properties. The later onset frequently shows more intensive particle formation and growth than the first onset by a typical factor of approximately 1.4. The first event is of regional type, while the second event, superimposed on the first, is often associated with sub-regional, thus urban NPF and growth process.

Imre Salma and Zoltán Németh
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Imre Salma and Zoltán Németh
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Short summary
Condensing atmospheric chemical species and/or their processes in the city centre seem to contribute equally to new particle formation and particle growth. In the near-city background, however, chemical compounds available and their processes power particle growth more than particle formation. There are several indirect evidence that chemical species other than H2SO4 largely influence the particle growth and possibly atmosphere.
Condensing atmospheric chemical species and/or their processes in the city centre seem to...
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