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Aerosol Scavenging during the Early Growth Stage of Ice Crystal Formation

DOI: 10.4236/acs.2018.84026, PP. 395-409

Keywords: Ice Crystals, Ice Nucleating Particles, Aerosol Scavenging, Diffusiophoresis

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This paper investigated the possibility that aerosol particles are scavenged during the first and fast diffusional growth of small ice crystals. After ice phase formation, riming, scavenging and aggregation may lead to the collection of additional aerosol particles. Therefore, particles left after ice evaporation in hydrometeors, called ice residuals, may not currently be identical to ice nucleating particles. To overcome this problem, the largest ice crystals are removed during sampling in clouds and only crystals in the initial phase of growth, with diameters lower than 20 - 30 μm, are usually considered. Published papers assume that no aerosol scavenging takes place during the initial phase of growth of small ice crystals. The aim of this paper was to ascertain if this assumption is valid. Experiments were performed in a cold laboratory by considering ice crystals growing in the presence of supercooled droplets. Results showed that crystals can scavenge aerosol even in the first stage of growth. Theoretical considerations show that aerosol scavenging cannot be explained by Brownian diffusion, inertial impaction or interception processes. We suggest that the presence of aerosol in the pristine ice crystals may be due to diffusiophoretic force. During diffusive crystal growth, a flow called Stefan’s flow exists near the hydrometeor surface, driving the nearby aerosol particles towards the surface of the growing hydrometeors.


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