In Situ Chemical Characterization of Aged Biomass-Burning Aerosols Impacting Cold Wave Clouds

TitleIn Situ Chemical Characterization of Aged Biomass-Burning Aerosols Impacting Cold Wave Clouds
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsPratt, K. A., A. J. Heymsfield, C. H. Twohy, S. M. Murphy, P. J. DeMott, J. G. Hudson, R. Subramanian, ZE Wang, J. H. Seinfeld, and K. A. Prather
JournalJournal of the Atmospheric Sciences
Pagination2451-2468
KeywordsCOUNTERFLOW VIRTUAL IMPACTOR HOMOGENEOUS ICE NUCLEATION MASS-SPECTROMETER SOUTHERN AFRICA ATMOSPHERIC AEROSOLS CONDENSATION NUCLEI ORGANIC AEROSOLS SOOT AEROSOLS INSTRUMENT DESCRIPTION SIZE DISTRIBUTIONS
Abstract

During the Ice in Clouds Experiment Layer Clouds (ICE-L), aged biomass-burning particles were identified within two orographic wave cloud regions over Wyoming using single-particle mass spectrometry and electron microscopy. Using a suite of instrumentation, particle chemistry was characterized in tandem with cloud microphysics. The aged biomass-burning particles comprised similar to 30%-40% by number of the 0.1-1.0-mu m clear-air particles and were composed of potassium, organic carbon, elemental carbon, and sulfate. Aerosol mass spectrometry measurements suggested these cloud-processed particles were predominantly sulfate by mass. The first cloud region sampled was characterized by primarily homogeneously nucleated ice particles formed at temperatures near -40 degrees C. The second cloud period was characterized by high cloud droplet concentrations (similar to 150-300 cm(-3)) and lower heterogeneously nucleated ice concentrations (7-18 L-1) at cloud temperatures of -24 degrees to -25 degrees C. As expected for the observed particle chemistry and dynamics of the observed wave clouds, few significant differences were observed between the clear-air particles and cloud residues. However, suggestive of a possible heterogeneous nucleation mechanism within the first cloud region, ice residues showed enrichments in the number fractions of soot and mass fractions of black carbon, measured by a single-particle mass spectrometer and a single-particle soot photometer, respectively. In addition, enrichment of biomass-burning particles internally mixed with oxalic acid in both the homogeneously nucleated ice and cloud droplets compared to clear air suggests either preferential activation as cloud condensation nuclei or aqueous phase cloud processing.