Real-time secondary aerosol formation during a fog event in London

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A fog event was monitored with state-of-the art real-time aerosol mass spectrometers in an urban background location in London (England) during the REPARTEE-I experiment. Specific particle types rich in hydroxymethane-sulphonate (HMS) were found only during the fog event. Formation of inorganic and organic secondary aerosol was observed as soon as fog was detected and two different mechanisms are suggested to be responsible for the production of two different types of aerosol. Nitrate aerosol is produced in the liquid phase within the droplet. Contrary to previous studies, the formation of HULIS was observed on interstitial particles rather than evaporated fog droplets, suggesting heterogeneous formation mechanisms depending on parameters other than the water content and not fully understood. Not only are secondary aerosol constituents produced during the fog event, but the primary aerosol is observed to be processed by the fog event, dramatically changing its chemical properties.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2459-2469
Number of pages11
JournalAtmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009