Developing models of aerosol representation to investigate composition, evolution, optical properties, and CCN spectra using measurements of size-resolved hygroscopicity
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A Differential Mobility Analyzer/Tandem Differential Mobility Analyzer (DMA/TDMA) was used to measure size distributions, hygroscopicity, and volatility during the May 2003 Aerosol Intensive Operational Period at the Central Facility of the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Southern Great Plains site. Hygroscopic growth factor distributions for particles at eight dry diameters ranging from 0.012 Âµm to 0.600 Âµm were measured. These measurements, along with backtrajectory clustering, were used to infer aerosol composition and evolution. The hygroscopic growth of the smallest and largest particles analyzed was typically less than that of particles with dry diameters of about 0.100 Âµm. Condensation of secondary organic aerosol on nucleation mode particles may be responsible for the minimal growth observed at the smallest sizes. Growth factor distributions of the largest particles typically contained a non-hygroscopic mode believed to be composed of dust. A model was developed to characterize the hygroscopic properties of particles within a size distribution mode through analysis of the fixed-size hygroscopic growth measurements. This model was used to examine three cases in which the sampled aerosol evolved over a period of hours or days. Additionally, size and hygroscopicity information were combined to model the aerosol as a population of multi-component particles. With this model, the aerosol hygroscopic growth factor f(RH), relating the submicron scattering at high RH to that at low RH, is predicted. The f(RH) values predicted when the hygroscopic fraction of the aerosol is assumed to be metastable agree better with measurements than do those predicted under the assumption of crystalline aerosol. Agreement decreases at RH greater than 65%. This multi-component aerosol model is used to derive cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) spectra for comparison with spectra measured directly with two Desert Research Institute (DRI) CCN spectrometers. Among the 1490 pairs of DMA/TDMA-predicted and DRI-measured CCN concentrations at various critical supersaturations from 0.02-1.05%, the sample number-weighted mean R2 value is 0.74. CCN concentrations are slightly overpredicted at both the lowest (0.02-0.04%) and highest (0.80-1.05%) supersaturations measured. Overall, this multi-component aerosol model based on size distributions and size-resolved hygroscopicity yields reasonable predictions of the humidity-dependent optical properties and CCN spectra of the aerosol.
Gasparini, Roberto (2003). Developing models of aerosol representation to investigate composition, evolution, optical properties, and CCN spectra using measurements of size-resolved hygroscopicity. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from