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Laboratory measurements and model sensitivity studies of dust deposition ice nucleation

by G Kulkarni, J Fan, J M Comstock, X Liu, M Ovchinnikov
Atmos. Chem. Phys. ()
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We investigated the ice nucleating properties of mineral dust particles to understand the sensitivity of simulated cloud properties to two different representations of contact angle in the Classical Nucleation Theory (CNT). These contact angle representations are based on two sets of laboratory deposition ice nucleation measurements: Arizona Test Dust (ATD) particles of 100, 300 and 500 nm sizes were tested at three different temperatures (-25, -30 and -35 degrees C), and 400 nm ATD and kaolinite dust species were tested at two different temperatures (-30 and -35 degrees C). These measurements were used to derive the onset relative humidity with respect to ice (RHice) required to activate 1% of dust particles as ice nuclei, from which the onset single contact angles were then calculated based on CNT. For the probability density function (PDF) representation, parameters of the log-normal contact angle distribution were determined by fitting CNT-predicted activated fraction to the measurements at different RHice. Results show that onset single contact angles vary from similar to 18 to 24 degrees, while the PDF parameters are sensitive to the measurement conditions (i.e. temperature and dust size). Cloud modeling simulations were performed to understand the sensitivity of cloud properties (i.e. ice number concentration, ice water content, and cloud initiation times) to the representation of contact angle and PDF distribution parameters. The model simulations show that cloud properties are sensitive to onset single contact angles and PDF distribution parameters. The comparison of our experimental results with other studies shows that under similar measurement conditions the onset single contact angles are consistent within +/- 2.0 degrees, while our derived PDF parameters have larger discrepancies.

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