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Published March 16, 2006 | Published + Supplemental Material
Journal Article Open

Characterization of ambient aerosol from measurements of cloud condensation nuclei during the 2003 Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Aerosol Intensive Observational Period at the Southern Great Plains site in Oklahoma


Measurements were made by a new cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) instrument (CCNC3) during the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program's Aerosol Intensive Observational Period (IOP) in May 2003 in Lamont, Oklahoma. An inverse aerosol/CCN closure study is undertaken, in which the predicted number concentration of particles available for activation (N_P) at the CCNC3 operating supersaturations is compared to that observed (N_O). N_P is based on Köhler Theory, with assumed and inferred aerosol composition and mixing state, and the airborne aerosol size distribution measured by the Caltech Dual Automatic Classified Aerosol Detector (DACAD). An initial comparison of N_O and N_P, assuming the ambient aerosol is pure ammonium sulfate ((NH_4)_2SO_4), results in closure ratios (N_P/N_O) ranging from 1.18 to 3.68 over the duration of the IOP, indicating that the aerosol is less hygroscopic than (NH_4)_2SO_4. N_P and N_O are found to agree when the modeled aerosol population has characteristics of an external mixture of particles, in which insoluble material is preferentially distributed among particles with small diameters (<50 nm) and purely insoluble particles are present over a range of diameters. The classification of sampled air masses by closure ratio and aerosol size distribution is discussed in depth. Inverse aerosol/CCN closure analysis can be a valuable means of inferring aerosol composition and mixing state when direct measurements are not available, especially when surface measurements of aerosol composition and mixing state are not sufficient to predict CCN concentrations at altitude, as was the case under the stratified aerosol layer conditions encountered during the IOP.

Additional Information

© 2006 American Geophysical Union. Received 13 December 2004; revised 15 March 2005; accepted 19 May 2005; published 28 January 2006. The authors wish to acknowledge Z. Song, L. Bowerman, and Y.-N. Lee for providing results from the PILS-IC. Data were obtained from the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Biological and Environmental Research, Environmental Sciences Division.

Attached Files

Published - 237-Rissman-2006.pdf

Published - jgrd12011-sup-0002-t02.txt

Supplemental Material - jgrd12011-sup-0001-t01.txt

Supplemental Material - jgrd12011-sup-0003-t03.txt

Supplemental Material - jgrd12011-sup-0004-t04.txt

Supplemental Material - jgrd12011-sup-0005-t05.txt

Supplemental Material - jgrd12011-sup-0006-t06.txt


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August 19, 2023
October 23, 2023