Details for Biogenic aerosol formation in the boreal forest

Name:Biogenic aerosol formation in the boreal forest

Kulmala, M. K. Hämeri, J.M. Mäkelä, P. P. Aalto, L. Pirjola, M. Väkevä, E. D. Nilsson, I.K.Koponen, G. Buzorius, P. Keronen, g. Rannik, L. Laakso, T. Vesala, K. Bigg, W. Seidl, R. Forkel, T. Hoffmann, J. Spanke, R. Jansson, M. Shimmo, H-C. Hansson, C.D. O'Dowd, E. Becker, J. Paatero, K. Teinilä, R. Hillamo, amd Y. Viisanen, Biogenic aerosol formation in the boreal forest, Boreal Environment Research, 4, 279-280, 2000


Aerosol formation and subsequent particle growth in the ambient air have been frequently observed at the boreal forest site (SMEAR II station), southern Finland. The EU funded project BIOFOR (Biogenic aerosol formation in the boreal forest) has focused on a) the determination of formation mechanisms of aerosol particles in the boreal forest site, and b) the verification of emissions of secondary organic aerosols from the boreal forest site, including the quantification of the amount of condensable vapours produced in photochemical reactions of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOC) leading to aerosol formation. Although the exact formation route for 3 nm particles is still unclear, the project results can be summarised as follows: (i) The most probable formation mechanism is ternary nucleation (water-sulphuric acid-ammonia) and the growth to observable sizes is mainly due to condensation of organic vapours. However, we do not have a direct proof of these phenomena, since it is impossible to determine the composition of 1 to 5-nm-size particles using the present state-of-art instrumentation; (ii) If nucleation takes place, it always occurs in cold-air advection in polar and Arctic air masses at low cloudiness, and the nucleation is closely connected to the onset of strong turbulence, convection, and entrainment in the morning-noon transition from a stable to an unstable stratified boundary layer; (iii) The emissions rates for several gaseous compounds have been verified. The model calculations showed that the amount of the condensable vapour needed for observed growth of aerosol particles is in the range 1–5 x 107 cm–3. The estimations for the vapour source rate are in the range 3–8 x 104 cm–3s–1.

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