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Título

Variability of sub-micrometer particle number size distributions and concentrations in the Western Mediterranean regional background

AutorCusack, Michael; Perez, Noemí; Pey, Jorge; Wiedensohler, Alfred; Alastuey, Andrés; Querol, Xavier
Palabras claveNucleation
Number concentration
Photochemistry
Western Mediterranean
Sub-micrometer particle size distribution
Fecha de publicación2013
EditorCo-Action Publishing
ResumenThis study focuses on the daily and seasonal variability of particle number size distributions and concentrations, performed at the Montseny (MSY) regional background station in the western Mediterranean from October 2010 to June 2011. Particle number concentrations at MSY were shown to be within range of various other sites across Europe reported in literature, but the seasonality of the particle number size distributions revealed significant differences. The Aitken mode is the dominant particle mode at MSY, with arithmetic mean concentrations of 1698 cm3, followed by the accumulation mode (877 cm-3) and the nucleation mode (246 cm-3). Concentrations showed a strong seasonal variability with large increases in particle number concentrations observed from the colder to warmer months. The modality of median size distributions was typically bimodal, except under polluted conditions when the size distribution was unimodal. During the colder months, the daily variation of particle number size distributions are strongly influenced by a diurnal breeze system, whereby the Aitken and accumulation modes vary similarly to PM1 and BC mass concentrations, with nocturnal minima and sharp day-time increases owing to the development of a diurnal mountain breeze. Under clean air conditions, high levels of nucleation and lower Aitken mode concentrations were measured, highlighting the importance of new particle formation as a source of particles in the absence of a significant condensation sink. During the warmer months, nucleation mode concentrations were observed to be relatively elevated both under polluted and clean conditions due to increased photochemical reactions, with enhanced subsequent growth owing to elevated concentrations of condensable organic vapours produced from biogenic volatile organic compounds, indicating that nucleation at MSY does not exclusively occur under clean air conditions. Finally, mixing of air masses between polluted and non-polluted boundary layer air, and brief changes in the air mass being sampled gave rise to unusual particle number size distributions, with specific cases of such behaviour discussed at length.
Versión del editor10.3402/tellusb.v65i0.19243
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/122751
DOI10.3402/tellusb.v65i0.19243
E-ISSN02806509
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