A comparison of dry and wet season aerosol number fluxes over the Amazon rain forest

Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (Impact Factor: 4.88). 01/2009; DOI: 10.5194/acpd-9-26881-2009
Source: DOAJ

ABSTRACT Vertical number fluxes of aerosol particles and vertical fluxes of CO2 were measured with the eddy covariance method at the top of a 53 m high tower in the Amazon rain forest as part of the LBA (The Large Scale Biosphere Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia) experiment. The observed aerosol number fluxes included particles with sizes down to 10 nm in diameter. The measurements were carried out during the wet and dry season in 2008. In this study focus is on the dry season aerosol fluxes, with significant influence from biomass burning, and these are compared with aerosol fluxes measured during the wet season. The primary goal is to quantify the dry deposition sink and to investigate whether particle deposition velocities change when going from the clean wet season into the more polluted dry season. Furthermore, it is tested whether the rain forest is always a net sink of particles in terms of number concentrations, or if particle emission from the surface under certain circumstances may dominate over the dry deposition sink. The particle deposition velocity vd increased linearly with increasing friction velocity in both seasons and the relations are described by vdd=(2.7 u* −0.2)×10−3 (dry season) and vdw=2.5 u*×10−3 (wet season), where u* is the friction velocity. The fact that the two relations are very similar to each other indicates that the seasonal change in aerosol number size distribution is not enough for causing any significant change in deposition velocity. In general, particle deposition velocities in this study are low compared to studies over boreal forests. The reason is probably domination of accumulation mode particles in the Amazon boundary layer, both in the dry and wet season, and low wind speeds in the tropics compared to the midlatitudes. Net particle deposition fluxes prevailed in daytime in both seasons and the deposition flux was considerably larger in the dry season due to the much higher dry season particle concentration. In the dry season, nocturnal particle fluxes behaved very similar to the nocturnal CO2 fluxes. Throughout the night, the measured particle flux at the top of the tower was close to zero, but early in the morning there was an upward particle flux peak that is not likely a result of entrainment or local pollution. It is possible that these morning upward particle fluxes are associated with emission of natural biogenic particles from the rain forest. Emitted particles may be stored within the canopy during stable conditions at nighttime, similarly to CO2, and being released from the canopy when conditions become more turbulent in the morning.

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