Growth of freshly nucleated particles is an important source of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) and has been studied within a variety of environments around the world. However, there remains uncertainty regarding the sources of the precursor gases leading to particle growth, particularly in isoprene-rich forests. In this study, particle growth events were observed from the 14 total events (31% of days) during summer measurements (June 24 – August 2, 2014) at the Program for Research on Oxidants PHotochemistry, Emissions, and Transport (PROPHET) tower within the forested University of Michigan Biological Station located in northern Michigan. Growth events were observed within long-range transported air masses from urban areas, air masses impacted by wildfires, as well as stagnant, forested/regional air masses. Growth events observed during urban-influenced air masses were prevalent, with presumably high oxidant levels, and began midday during periods of high solar radiation. This suggests that increased oxidation of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) likely contributed to the highest observed particle growth in this study (8 ± 2 nm h−1). Growth events during wildfire-influenced air masses were observed primarily at night and had slower growth rates (3 ± 1 nm h−1). These events were likely influenced by increased SO2, O3, and NO2 transported within the smoke plumes, suggesting a role of NO3 oxidation in the production of semi-volatile compounds. Forested/regional air mass growth events likely occurred due to the oxidation of regionally emitted BVOCs, including isoprene, monoterpenes, and sesquiterpenes, which facilitated multiday growth events also with slower rates (3 ± 2 nm h−1). Intense sulfur, carbon, and oxygen signals in individual particles down to 20 nm, analyzed by transmission electron microscopy with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (TEM-EDX), suggest that H2SO4 and secondary organic aerosol contributed to particle growth. Overall, aerosol growth was frequently observed in a range of air masses (urban, wildfire, forested) and oxidant conditions (day vs. night), with rates ranging from 0.8 to 10.2 nm h−1.
Atmospheric Environment – Elsevier
Published: Apr 1, 2018
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