Chemical composition and morphology of individual aerosol particles from a CARIBIC flight at 10 km altitude between 50 degrees N and 30 degrees S

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Analysis of individual particles by analytical electron microscopy as well as quantitative analysis using particle-induced X-ray emission (PIXE) and particle elastic scattering analysis (PESA) were carried out on samples collected from a flight at 10 km altitude between 50 degrees N and 30 degrees S as part of the Civil Aircraft for Regular Investigation of the atmosphere Based on an Instrument Container (CARIBIC) project ( Particle morphology showed large variability with sampling latitude. Complicated branched structures dominated the large particles of the extratropical northern and southern hemisphere and the northern tropics. Particles in the tropics of the southern hemisphere were small in size and large in number concentration, whereas particles in or close to the intertropical convergence zone were few and small in size. Particles in the lowermost stratosphere were found to have similar structures but more branched than the ones found in the upper troposphere of the extratropics. Quantitative analysis revealed that the sulfur concentration varied by a factor of 50 in the nine samples analyzed in this study. The carbon-to-sulfur mass concentration ratio was lowest in the lowermost stratosphere (0.5) and highest in the tropics of the southern hemisphere (3.5). The elemental distribution of carbon and sulfur in individual particles was mapped by energy-filtered transmission electron microscopy (EFTEM). Almost all particles analyzed contained a mixture of carbonaceous and sulfurous matter. Particles with satellites were found by EFTEM to contain both carbon and sulfur in the central particle, whereas in the satellite particles only carbonaceous material was detected.


  • Hung Nguyen Ngoc
  • Bengt Martinsson
  • Jakob Wagner
  • Eric Carlemalm
  • M. Ebert
  • S. Weinbruch
  • C. A. M. Brenninkmeijer
  • J. Heintzenberg
  • M. Hermann
  • T. Schuck
  • P. F. J. van Velthoven
  • A. Zahn
Enheter & grupper

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Radiologi och bildbehandling
TidskriftJournal of Geophysical Research
Utgåva nummerD23
StatusPublished - 2008
Peer review utfördJa