New particle formation in the Front Range of the Colorado Rocky Mountains M. Boy1,2, T. Karl2, A. Turnipseed2, R. L. Mauldin2, E. Kosciuch2, J. Greenberg2, J. Rathbone2, J. Smith2, A. Held2, K. Barsanti2, B. Wehner3, S. Bauer3, A. Wiedensohler3, B. Bonn4, M. Kulmala1, and A. Guenther2 1Department of Physical Sciences, P.O. Box 64, 00014 Helsinki, Finland 2ACD, NCAR, P.O. Box 3000, 80305 Boulder, Colorado, USA 3Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research, Permoserstrasse 15, 04318 Leipzig, Germany 4Department of Plant Physiology, Estonian University of Life Sciences, Kreutzwaldi 64, 51014 Tartu, Estonia
Abstract. New particle formation is of interest because of its influence on the
properties of aerosol population, and due to the possible contribution of
newly formed particles to cloud condensation nuclei. Currently no conclusive
evidence exists as to the mechanism or mechanisms of nucleation and
subsequent particle growth. However, nucleation rates exhibit a clear
dependence on ambient sulphuric acid concentrations and particle growth is
often attributed to the condensation of organic vapours. A detailed study of
new particle formation in the Front Range of the Colorado Rocky Mountains is
presented here. Gas and particle measurement data for 32 days was analyzed
to identify event days, possible event days, and non-event days. A detailed
analysis of nucleation and growth is provided for four days on which new
particle formation was clearly observed. Evidence for the role of
sesquiterpenes in new particle formation is presented.
Citation: Boy, M., Karl, T., Turnipseed, A., Mauldin, R. L., Kosciuch, E., Greenberg, J., Rathbone, J., Smith, J., Held, A., Barsanti, K., Wehner, B., Bauer, S., Wiedensohler, A., Bonn, B., Kulmala, M., and Guenther, A.: New particle formation in the Front Range of the Colorado Rocky Mountains, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 8, 1577-1590, doi:10.5194/acp-8-1577-2008, 2008.