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Observations of meteoric material and implications for aerosol nucleation in the winter Arctic lower stratosphere derived from in situ particle measurements

Curtius, Joachim and Weigel, Ralf and Vössing, Hermann and Wernli, Heini and Werner, Anja and Volk, Michael and Konopka, Paul and Krebsbach, Michael and Schiller, Cornelius and Roiger, Anke and Schlager, Hans and Dreiling, Volker and Bormann, Stephan (2005) Observations of meteoric material and implications for aerosol nucleation in the winter Arctic lower stratosphere derived from in situ particle measurements. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 5, pp. 3053-3069. Copernicus Publications.


Official URL: http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/5/issue11.html


Number concentrations of total and non-volatile aerosol particles with size diameters >0.01 μm as well as particle size distributions (0.4–23 μm diameter) were measured in situ in the Arctic lower stratosphere (10–20.5 km altitude). The measurements were obtained during the campaigns European Polar Stratospheric Cloud and Lee Wave Experiment (EUPLEX) and Envisat-Arctic-Validation (EAV). The campaigns were based in Kiruna, Sweden, and took place from January to March 2003. Measurements were conducted onboard the Russian high-altitude research aircraft Geophysica using the low-pressure Condensation Nucleus Counter COPAS (COndensation PArticle Counter System) and a modified FSSP 300 (Forward Scattering Spectrometer Probe). Around 18–20 km altitude typical total particle number concentrations nt range at 10–20 cm−3 (ambient conditions). Correlations with the trace gases nitrous oxide (N2O) and trichlorofluoromethane (CFC-11) are discussed. Inside the polar vortex the total number of particles >0.01 μm increases with potential temperature while N2O is decreasing which indicates a source of particles in the above polar stratosphere or mesosphere. A separate channel of the COPAS instrument measures the fraction of aerosol particles non-volatile at 250°C. Inside the polar vortex a much higher fraction of particles contained non-volatile residues than outside the vortex (~67% inside vortex, ~24% outside vortex). This is most likely due to a strongly increased fraction of meteoric material in the particles which is transported downward from the mesosphere inside the polar vortex. The high fraction of non-volatile residual particles gives therefore experimental evidence for downward transport of mesospheric air inside the polar vortex. It is also shown that the fraction of non-volatile residual particles serves directly as a suitable experimental vortex tracer. Nanometer-sized meteoric smoke particles may also serve as nuclei for the condensation of gaseous sulfuric acid and water in the polar vortex and these additional particles may be responsible for the increase in the observed particle concentration at low N2O. The number concentrations of particles >0.4 μm measured with the FSSP decrease markedly inside the polar vortex with increasing potential temperature, also a consequence of subsidence of air from higher altitudes inside the vortex. Another focus of the analysis was put on the particle measurements in the lowermost stratosphere. For the total particle density relatively high number concentrations of several hundred particles per cm3 at altitudes below ~14 km were observed in several flights. To investigate the origin of these high number concentrations we conducted air mass trajectory calculations and compared the particle measurements with other trace gas observations. The high number concentrations of total particles in the lowermost stratosphere are probably caused by transport of originally tropospheric air from lower latitudes and are potentially influenced by recent particle nucleation.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/20701/
Document Type:Article
Title:Observations of meteoric material and implications for aerosol nucleation in the winter Arctic lower stratosphere derived from in situ particle measurements
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Curtius, JoachimUniv. Mainz, MainzUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Vössing, HermannUniv. Mainz, MainzUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Werner, AnjaJohann Wolfgang Goethe-Univ. Frankfurt am Main, Frankfurt am MainUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Volk, MichaelJohann Wolfgang Goethe-Univ. Frankfurt am Main, Frankfurt am MainUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Krebsbach, MichaelFZ Jülich, JuelichUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Schiller, CorneliusFZ Jülich, JuelichUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Dreiling, VolkerUniv. Mainz, MainzUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Bormann, StephanUniv. Mainz, MainzUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Journal or Publication Title:Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:pp. 3053-3069
Publisher:Copernicus Publications
Keywords:meteoritic material, aerosol, nucleation
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:other
HGF - Program Themes:other
DLR - Research area:Aeronautics
DLR - Program:L - no assignment
DLR - Research theme (Project):L - no assignment (old)
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Atmospheric Physics > Atmospheric Trace Species
Deposited By: Voigt, Dr.rer.nat. Christiane
Deposited On:05 Jul 2007
Last Modified:02 May 2019 14:03

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