The Great Dun Fell experiment 1995: An overview

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

During March and April of 1995 a major international field project was conducted at the UMIST field station site on Great Dun Fell in Cumbria, Northern England. The hill cap cloud which frequently envelopes this site was used as a natural flow through reactor to examine the sensitivity of the cloud microphysics to the aerosol entering the cloud and also to investigate the effects of the cloud in changing the aerosol size distribution, chemical composition and associated optical properties. To investigate these processes, detailed measurements of the cloud water chemistry (including the chemistry of sulphur compounds, organic and inorganic oxidised nitrogen and ammonia), cloud microphysics and properties of the aerosol and trace gas concentrations upwind and downwind of the cap cloud were undertaken. It was found that the cloud droplet number was generally strongly correlated to aerosol number concentration, with up to 2000 activated droplets cm-3 being observed in the most polluted conditions. In such conditions it was inferred that hygroscopic organic compounds were important in the activation process. Often, the size distribution of the aerosol was substantially modified by the cloud processing, largely due to the aqueous phase oxidation of S(IV) to sulphate by hydrogen peroxide, but also through the uptake and fixing of gas phase nitric acid as nitrate, increasing the calculated optical scattering of the aerosol substantially (by up to 24%). New particle formation was also observed in the ultrafine aerosol mode (at about 5 nm) downwind of the cap cloud, particularly in conditions of low total aerosol surface area and in the presence of ammonia and HCl gases. This was seen to occur at night as well as during the day via a mechanism which is not yet understood. The implications of these results for parameterising aerosol growth in Global Climate Models are explored.

Details

Authors
  • K. N. Bower
  • T. W. Choularton
  • M. W. Gallagher
  • R. N. Colvile
  • K. M. Beswick
  • D. W.F. Inglis
  • C. Bradbury
  • O. H. Berg
  • S. I. Cederfelt
  • J. Zhou
  • J. N. Cape
  • M. A. Sutton
  • G. G. McFadyen
  • C. Milford
  • W. Birmili
  • B. A. Yuskiewicz
  • A. Wiedensohler
  • F. Stratmann
  • M. Wendisch
  • A. Berner
  • P. Ctyroky
  • Z. Galambos
  • S. H. Mesfin
  • U. Dusek
  • C. J. Dore
  • D. S. Lee
  • S. A. Pepler
  • M. Bizjak
  • B. Divjak
Organisations
External organisations
  • University of Manchester
  • Lund University
  • Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Wallingford
  • Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research (TROPOS)
  • University of Vienna
  • AEA Technology
  • National Institute of Chemistry
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences

Keywords

  • Aerosol Chemistry, Aerosol hygroscopicity, Aerosol modification, Aerosol size, Airflow, Ammonia, Atmospheric chemistry, Climate, Cloud microphysics, Cloud processing, Cloud water chemistry, Hill cap cloud, Hydrogen peroxide, Modelling, Multiple measuring sites, Nitrate, Nitrogen oxides, Organic species, Ozone, Parameterisation, Sulphate, Sulphur dioxide, Ultrafine particle production
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-184
Number of pages34
JournalAtmospheric Research
Volume50
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 1999 Mar 1
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes