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Advances in Meteorology
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 689763, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2010/689763
Research Article

Simulating Marine New Particle Formation and Growth Using the M7 Modal Aerosol Dynamics Modal

1Centre for Climate and Air Pollution Studies, National University of Ireland Galway, Galway, Ireland
2Department of Physics, University of Helsinki, 00014 Helsinki, Finland

Received 12 April 2010; Revised 26 August 2010; Accepted 22 September 2010

Academic Editor: Nicholas Meskhidze

Copyright © 2010 Ciaran Monahan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

A modal atmospheric aerosol model (M7) is evaluated in terms of predicting marine new particle formation and growth. Simulations were carried out for three different nucleation schemes involving (1) kinetic self-nucleation of OIO (2) nucleation via OIO activation by H2SO4 and (3) nucleation via OIO activation by H2SO4 plus condensation of a low-volatility organic vapour. Peak OIO and H2SO4 vapour concentrations were both limited to molecules cm-3 at noontime while the peak organic vapour concentration was limited to molecules cm-3. All simulations produced significant concentrations of new particles in the Aitken mode. From a base case particle concentration of 222 cm-3 at radii >15 nm, increases in concentrations to 366 cm-3 were predicted from the OIO-OIO case, 722 cm-3 for the OIO-H2SO4 case, and 1584 cm-3 for the OIO-H2SO4 case with additional condensing organic vapours. The results indicate that open ocean new particle production is feasible for clean conditions; however, new particle production becomes most significant when an additional condensable organic vapour is available to grow the newly formed particles to larger sizes. Comparison to sectional model for a typical case study demonstrated good agreement and the validity of using the modal model.