RUSSIAN JOURNAL OF EARTH SCIENCES, VOL. 17, ES4001, doi:10.2205/2017ES000604, 2017

Formation of aerosols in the lower troposphere

A. A. Lushnikov, V. A. Zagaynov, Yu. S. Lyubovtseva


This paper overviews the observations of aerosol events in the atmosphere in view of a simple linear model of the formation of nanoaerosols in the atmosphere. The model includes three input functions: the rate of formation of the smallest (1.5 nm in diameter) particles by nucleation, the particle growth rate, and the coagulation sink of newly born particles. Neglecting the self-coagulation of newly born particles (this process is slow) simplifies the growth equation describing time evolution of the particle size distribution. This equation becomes linear and is solved exactly. The most remarkable feature of our consideration is that the particle size distribution can be presented as a superposition of different growth regimes. In particular, if the source-enhanced particle growth is combined with the free regime, the latter produces a running wave that moves to the right along the size axis giving the picture very similar to that observed during the nucleation events. The source-enhanced regime alone can also produce the wave moving to the right but the picture is much less expressive. Another possibility discussed here is an abrupt change in the particle source intensity because of increasing the condensation sink. The source stops producing fresh particles and the whole particle distribution begins to shift to the right along the particle size axis. Similar picture is observed if the nucleation process goes at nighttime and stops at daytime. In this case the particles accumulated during the night grow in the free regime at daytime by condensing the low volatile substances formed in photochemical reactions. The particle size spectra are found for different sets of the parameters. Possible scenarios of nucleation bursts are discussed.

Received 8 October 2017; accepted 26 October 2017; published 2 November 2017.

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Citation: Lushnikov A. A., V. A. Zagaynov, Yu. S. Lyubovtseva (2017), Formation of aerosols in the lower troposphere, Russ. J. Earth Sci., 17, ES4001, doi:10.2205/2017ES000604.

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