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A statistical analysis of North East Atlantic (submicron) aerosol size distributions

AuthorsDall'Osto, Manuel ; Monahan, C.; Greaney, R.; Beddows, D.C.S.; Harrison, Roy M.; Ceburnis, Darius; O'Dowd, Colin D.
Issue Date2011
PublisherEuropean Geophysical Society
CitationAtmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions 11: 21677- 21711 (2011)
AbstractThe Global Atmospheric Watch research station at Mace Head (Ireland) offers the possibility to sample some of the cleanest air masses being imported into Europe as well as some of the most polluted being exported out of Europe. We present a statistical Cluster∼analysis of the physical characteristics of aerosol size distributions in air ranging from the cleanest to the most polluted for the year 2008. Data coverage achieved was 75 % throughout the year. By applying the Hartigan-Wong k-Means method, 12 Clusters were identified as systematically occurring and these 12 Clusters could be further combined into 4 categories with similar characteristics, namely: coastal nucleation category (occurring 21.3 % of the time), open ocean nucleation category (occurring 32.6 % of the time), background clean marine category (occurring 26.1 % of the time) and anthropogenic category (occurring 20 % of the time) aerosol size distributions. The coastal nucleation category is characterised by a clear and dominant nucleation mode at sizes less that 10 nm while the open ocean nucleation category is characterised by a dominant Aitken mode between 15 nm and 50 nm. The background clean marine characteristic is a clear bimodality in the size distribution, although it should be noted that either the Aitken mode or the Accumulation mode may dominate the number concentration. By contrast, the continentally-influenced size distributions are generally more mono-modal, albeit with traces of bi-modality. The open ocean category occurs more often during May, June and July, corresponding with the N. E. Atlantic high biological period. Combined with the relatively high percentage frequency of occurrence (32.6 %), this suggests that the marine biota is an important source of new aerosol particles in N. E. Atlantic Air.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.5194/acpd-11-21677-2011
Identifiersdoi: 10.5194/acpd-11-21677-2011
issn: 1680-7367
Appears in Collections:(IDAEA) Artículos
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