Vertical aerosol profiles were directly measured over the city of Milan during three years (2005–2008) of field campaigns. An optical particle counter, a portable meteorological station and a miniaturized cascade impactor were deployed on a tethered balloon. More than 300 vertical profiles were measured, both in winter and summer, mainly in conditions of clear, dry skies.
The mixing height was determined from the observed vertical aerosol concentration gradient, and from potential temperature and relative humidity profiles. Results show that inter-consistent mixing heights can be retrieved highlighting good correlations between particle dispersion in the atmosphere and meteorological parameters. Mixing height growth speed was calculated for both winter and summer showing the low potential atmospheric dispersion in winter. Aerosol number size distribution and chemical composition profiles allowed us to investigate particle behaviour along height. Aerosol measurements showed changes in size distribution according to mixing height. Coarse particle profiles (dp >1.6 μm) were distributed differently than the fine ones (dp
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