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Aerosol light scattering measurements as a function of relative humidity.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association (1995)
Publication Date
Volume
50
Issue
5
Pages
710–716
Identifiers
PMID: 10842935
Source
Medline

Abstract

The hygroscopic nature of atmospheric fine aerosol was investigated at a rural site in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park during July and August 1995. Passing the sample aerosol through an inlet, which housed an array of Perma Pure diffusion dryers, controlled the sample aerosol's relative humidity (RH). After conditioning the aerosol sample in the inlet, the light scattering coefficient and the aerosol size distribution were simultaneously measured. During this study, the conditioned aerosol's humidity ranged between 5% < RH < 95%. Aerosol response curves were produced using the ratio bspw/bspd; where bspw is the scattering coefficient measured at some RH greater than 20% and bspd is the scattering coefficient of the "dry" aerosol. For this work, any sample RH values below 15% were considered dry. Results of this investigation showed that the light scattering ratio increased continuously and smoothly over the entire range of relative humidity. The magnitude of the ratio at a particular RH value, however, varied considerably in time, particularly for RH values greater than approximately 60%. Curves of the scattering coefficient ratios as a function of RH were generated for each day and compared to the average 12-hour chemical composition of the aerosol. This comparison showed that for any particular RH value the ratio was highest during time periods of high sulfate concentrations and lowest during time periods of high soil or high organic carbon concentrations.

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