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Trapping of trace gases by growing ice surfaces including surface-saturated adsorption

Kärcher, Bernd and Abbatt,, J.P.D. and Cox, R.A. and Popp, P.J. and Voigt, C. (2009) Trapping of trace gases by growing ice surfaces including surface-saturated adsorption. Journal of Geophysical Research, 114 (D13306), pp. 1-14. DOI: 10.1029/2009JD011857.

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Official URL: http://www.agu.org/journals/jd/

Abstract

Key steps leading to the uptake of trace gases into atmospheric cloud ice particles include gas phase diffusion of trace gas molecules toward growing ice crystals and the kinetics of molecular interactions at the ice surfaces. In the case of nitric acid, laboratory studies and airborne field observations indicate uptake in growing ice films and cirrus ice particles above the thermodynamic solubility limit. This implies that uptake of nitric acid molecules on growing ice surfaces (trapping) controls the nitric acid content in ice particles residing in supersaturated air. A previous trapping model is updated to include effects of surface-saturated adsorption. Exact analytical solutions to the problem are derived to enable the calculation of the amount of vapor trapped for a given ice growth rate, assuming Langmuir-type adsorption isotherms. Those solutions are provided in terms of trapping efficiencies and equivalent uptake coefficients, net vapor fluxes toward ice crystals or ice films, steady state molar ratios of trapped molecules in the ice phase, and gas-ice partitioning factors. The trapping model includes the underlying adsorption equilibrium model asymptotically for nongrowing ice particles. Comparisons to laboratory and field measurements of nitric acid uptake are carried out. Observed dependences of uptake as a function of nitric acid partial pressure, ice growth rate, and temperature are reproduced fairly well. Nitric acid molar ratios in cirrus ice are neither controlled purely by adsorption nor purely by gas phase diffusion, underscoring the importance of using the trapping concept to interpret these observations. These results also suggest further mechanisms that enhance the nitric acid content in cirrus ice at the tropical tropopause at very low temperatures. A discussion of potential model improvements outlines the physical conditions in which the updated model describes trapping well and leads to further insight into the physical nature of the trapping process.

Document Type:Article
Title:Trapping of trace gases by growing ice surfaces including surface-saturated adsorption
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of Authors
Kärcher, BerndUNSPECIFIED
Abbatt,, J.P.D.Univ. of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Cox, R.A.Univ. of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
Popp, P.J.Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA
Voigt, C.UNSPECIFIED
Date:2009
Journal or Publication Title:Journal of Geophysical Research
Refereed publication:Yes
In Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Volume:114
DOI:10.1029/2009JD011857
Page Range:pp. 1-14
Status:Published
Keywords:nitric acid, atmospheric cloud ice
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport (old)
HGF - Program:Space (old)
HGF - Program Themes:W EO - Erdbeobachtung
DLR - Research area:Space
DLR - Program:W EO - Erdbeobachtung
DLR - Research theme (Project):W - Vorhaben Atmosphären- und Klimaforschung (old)
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Atmospheric Physics > Atmospheric Trace Species
Deposited By: Jana Freund
Deposited On:28 Jul 2009 14:55
Last Modified:23 Jan 2014 11:36

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