Zeppelin-led study on the onset of new particle formation in the planetary boundary layer


We compared observations of aerosol particle formation and growth in different parts of the planetary boundary layer at two different environments that have frequent new particle formation (NPF) events. In summer 2012 we had a campaign in Po Valley, Italy (urban background), and in spring 2013 a similar campaign took place in Hyytiala, Finland (rural background). Our study consists of three case studies of airborne and ground-based measurements of ion and particle size distribution from similar to 1 nm. The airborne measurements were performed using a Zeppelin inside the boundary layer up to 1000m altitude. Our observations show the onset of regional NPF and the subsequent growth of the aerosol particles happening almost uniformly inside the mixed layer (ML) in both locations. However, in Hyytiala we noticed local enhancement in the intensity of NPF caused by mesoscale boundary layer (BL) dynamics. Additionally, our observations indicate that in Hyytiala NPF was probably also taking place above the ML. In Po Valley we observed NPF that was limited to a specific air mass.