Unveiling atmospheric transport and mixing mechanisms of ice-nucleating particles over the Alps

Wieder, Jörg and Mignani, Claudia and Schär, Mario and Roth, Lucie and Sprenger, Michael and Henneberger, Jan and Lohmann, Ulrike and Brunner, Cyril and Kanji, Zamin A.. (2022) Unveiling atmospheric transport and mixing mechanisms of ice-nucleating particles over the Alps. Atmospheric chemistry and physics, 22 (5). pp. 3111-3130.

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Official URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/88063/

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Precipitation over the mid-latitudes originates mostly from the ice phase within mixed-phase clouds, signifying the importance of initial ice crystal formation. Primary ice crystals are formed on ice-nucleating particles (INPs), which measurements suggest are sparsely populated in the troposphere. INPs are emitted by a large number of ground-based sources into the atmosphere, from where they can be lifted up to cloud heights. Therefore, it is vital to understand vertical INP transport mechanisms, which are particularly complex over orographic terrain. We investigate the vertical transport and mixing mechanisms of INPs over orographic terrain during cloudy conditions by simultaneous measurements of in situ INP concentration at a high valley and a mountaintop site in the Swiss Alps in late winter 2019. On the mountaintop, the INP concentrations were, on average, lower than in the high valley. However, a diurnal cycle in INP concentrations was observed at the mountaintop, which was absent in the high valley. The median mountaintop INP concentration equilibrated to the concentration found in the high valley towards the night. We found that, in nearly 70 % of the observed cases, INP-rich air masses were orographically lifted from low elevation upstream of the measurement site. In addition, we present evidence that, over the course of the day, air masses containing high INP concentrations were advected from the Swiss plateau towards the measurement sites, contributing to the diurnal cycle of INPs. Our results suggest a local INP concentration enhancement over the Alps during cloud events.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Geowissenschaften > Umweltgeowissenschaften (Alewell)
UniBasel Contributors:Mignani, Claudia
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:European Geosciences Union
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:25 Apr 2022 13:20
Deposited On:25 Apr 2022 13:20

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