A case study for the ion–aerosol interactions is presented from the simultaneous measurements of mobility spectra of atmospheric ions in the mobility range of 2.29 to 2.98 × 10−4 cm2 V−1 s−1 (diameter range 0.41–109 nm) and of size distribution of atmospheric aerosol particles in the size ranges of 4.4–700 nm and 500–20,000 nm diameters made at Maitri (70° 45′ 52′′S, 11° 44′ 2.7′′E; 130 m above mean sea level), Antarctica, on two days January 17 and February 18, 2005, with contrasting meteorological conditions. In contrast to January 17, on February 18, winds were stronger from the morning to noon and lower from the noon to evening, atmospheric pressure was lower, cloudiness was more, the land surface remained snow-covered after a blizzard on February 16 and 17 and the airmass over Maitri, descended from an altitude of ∼3 km after an excursion over ocean. On these days mobility spectra showed two modes, corresponding to intermediate ions and light large ions and an indication of additional one/two maxima for small/cluster ions and heavy large ions. The small ions generated by cosmic rays, and the nucleation mode particles generated probably by photochemical reactions grew in size by condensation of volatile trace gases on them and produced the cluster and intermediate ion modes and the Aitken particle mode in ion/particle spectra. Particles in the size range of 9–26 nm have been estimated to grow at the rate of 1.9 nm h−1 on February 18, 2005. Both, ions and aerosol particles show bimodal size distributions in the 16–107 nm size range, and comparison of the two size distributions suggests the formation of multiple charged ions. Attachment of small ions to particles in this bimodal distribution of Aitken particles together with the formation of multiple charged ions are proposed to result in the light and heavy large ion modes. Growth of the nucleation mode particles on February 18, 2005 is associated with the passage of the airmass over ocean. In contrast, though the ion size distributions were not much different, the aerosol size distributions did not show a dominant peak for the formation and growth of nucleation mode particles on January 17. More measurements are needed before the conclusion of this case study is generalized.
Volume 132, 2023
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