National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 2000

A simple non-linear analytical relationship between aerosol accumulation number and sub-micron volume, explaining their observed ratio in the clean and polluted marine boundary layer

Van Dingenen, R., A.O. Virkkula, F. Raes, T.S. Bates, and A. Wiedensohler

Tellus, 52B(2), 439–451, doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0889.2000.00091.x (2000)

We propose an analytical expression for the relation between aerosol accumulation number and sub-micron volume over the marine boundary layer (MBL), based on a simple balance equation. By providing appropriate source and sink terms which account for entrainment, coagulation, in-cloud scavenging and condensational growth, the model is able to reproduce the observed ratio between MBL particles larger than 80 nm diameter (as a proxy for accumulation mode number) and submicron aerosol volume, from freshly polluted to background conditions. Entrainment and coagulation are essential in predicting the observed ratio. Budget and lifetime calculations show that, due to relatively low source rates of oceanic non-sea-salt-sulfate and sea-salt, the anthropogenic signature in aerosol volume remains significant even after 8 days of MBL transport.

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