New particle formation: nucleation rates and spatial scales in the clean marine coastal environment
O'Dowd, Colin D.
Hill, Martin K.
Smith, Michael H.
Jennings, S. Gerard
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O'Dowd, Colin D. Geever, Michael; Hill, Martin K.; Smith, Michael H.; Jennings, S. Gerard (1998). New particle formation: nucleation rates and spatial scales in the clean marine coastal environment. Geophysical Research Letters 25 (10), 1661-1664
Nucleation of new, ultra-fine, aerosol particles has been observed in the clean marine coastal atmosphere under a variety of conditions. These nucleation events were observed to occur frequently over spatial scales of 10's-100's of metres and temporal scales of seconds to minutes. Two conditions appeared to be necessary for nucleation event to occur: low tide and solar irradiation. The requirement of low tide conditions suggests that the exposed shore area provides the source of new particle precursors. It is speculated that VOC and/or alkyl halide derivatives contribute to nucleation under these conditions. Nucleation rates were calculated to be approximate to 10(3) -10(4) cm(-3) s(-1), suggesting that the coastal zone is an important source of atmospheric nuclei.