1Kellys Environmental Services, Toronto, Canada
2Air Quality Research Division, Science and Technology Branch, Environment Canada, 4905 Dufferin Street, Toronto, Ontario, M3H 5T4, Canada
Received: 07 Jun 2011 – Discussion started: 18 Jul 2011
Abstract. Existing theoretical formulations for the size-resolved scavenging coefficient Λ(d) for atmospheric aerosol particles scavenged by rain predict values lower by one to two orders of magnitude than those estimated from field measurements of particle-concentration changes for particles smaller than 3 μm in diameter. Vertical turbulence is not accounted for in the theoretical formulations of Λ(d) but does contribute to the field-derived estimates of Λ(d) due to its influence on the overall concentration changes of aerosol particles in the layers undergoing impaction scavenging. A detailed one-dimensional cloud microphysics model has been used to simulate rain production and below-cloud particle scavenging, and to quantify the contribution of turbulent diffusion to the overall Λ(d) values calculated from particle concentration changes. The relative contribution of vertical diffusion to below-cloud scavenging is found to be largest for submicron particles under weak precipitation conditions. The discrepancies between theoretical and field-derived Λ(d) values can largely be explained by the contribution of vertical diffusion to below-cloud particle scavenging for all particles larger than 0.01 μm in diameter for which field data are available. The results presented here suggest that the current theoretical framework for Λ(d) can provide a reasonable approximation of below-cloud aerosol particle scavenging by rain in size-resolved aerosol transport models if vertical diffusion is also considered by the models.
Revised: 04 Nov 2011 – Accepted: 14 Nov 2011 – Published: 29 Nov 2011
Wang, X., Zhang, L., and Moran, M. D.: On the discrepancies between theoretical and measured below-cloud particle scavenging coefficients for rain – a numerical investigation using a detailed one-dimensional cloud microphysics model, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 11, 11859-11866, doi:10.5194/acp-11-11859-2011, 2011.