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Published July 27, 2004 | Published
Journal Article Open

Inverse modeling of aerosol dynamics: Condensational growth


The feasibility of inverse modeling a multicomponent, size-resolved aerosol evolving by condensation/evaporation is investigated. The adjoint method is applied to the multicomponent aerosol dynamic equation in a box model (zero-dimensional) framework. Both continuous and discrete formulations of the model (the forward equation) and the adjoint are considered. A test example is studied in which the initial aerosol size composition distribution and the pure component vapor concentrations (i.e., vapor pressures) are estimated on the basis of measurements of all species, or a subset of the species, and the entire size distribution, or a portion of the size distribution. It is found that the adjoint method can successfully retrieve the initial size distribution and the pure component vapor concentrations even when only a subset of the species or a portion of the size distribution is observed, although this success is shown to depend upon the form of the initial estimates, the nature of the observations, and the length of the assimilation period. The results presented here provide a basis for the inverse modeling of aerosols in three-dimensional atmospheric chemical transport models.

Additional Information

Copyright 2004 by the American Geophysical Union. Received 2 February 2004; revised 7 May 2004; accepted 14 May 2004; published 17 July 2004. The authors thank the National Science Foundation for supporting this work through the award NSF ITR AP&IM 0205198. The work of A. Sandu was also partially supported by the award NSF CAREER ACI 0093139.

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