Diurnal variation in the concentration of air ions of different mobility classes in a rural area


Analyzed data consist of 8900 hourly average mobility distributions measured in the mobility range of 0.00041-3.2 cm(2) V(-)1 s(-1) ( diameter range 0.36-79 nm) at Tahkuse Observatory, Estonia, in 1993-1994. The average diurnal variation in the concentration of cluster ions is typical for continental stations: the maximum in the early morning hours and the minimum in the afternoon. This is explained by variations in radon concentration. The diurnal variation for big cluster ions (0.5-1.3 cm(2) V-1 s(-1)) differs from that for small cluster ions (1.3-3.14 cm(2) V-1 s(-1)). The size distribution of intermediate and light large ions in the range of 1.6-22 nm is strongly affected by nucleation bursts of nanometer particles. On the burst days, the maximum concentration of intermediate ions (1.6-7.4 nm) is about the noontime and that of light large ions (7.4-22 nm) about 2 hours later. The concentration of heavy large ions (charged Aitken particles of diameters of 22-79 nm) is enhanced in the afternoon and this is explained by the bursts of nanometer particles and the subsequent growth of particles by condensation and coagulation. If the burst days are excluded, then in the warm season the concentration of Aitken particles increases during night. In the cold season, the diurnal variation is different and all the classes of aerosol ions (2.1-79 nm) show similar variation with the minimum at 0600 LT and the maximum in the afternoon; exceptions are the rare nucleation burst days.