12 Sep 2022
12 Sep 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

Numerical experiments of in situ particle sampling relationships to surface and turbulent fluxes through Lagrangian coupled large eddy simulations

Hyungwon John Park1, Jeffrey S. Reid2, Livia S. Freire3, Christopher Jackson4, and David H. Richter5 Hyungwon John Park et al.
  • 1National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow, US Naval Research Laboratory, Monterey, CA, USA
  • 2Marine Meteorology Division, US Naval Research Laboratory, Monterey, CA, USA
  • 3Instituto de Ciências Matemáticas e de Computação, University of São Paulo, São Carlos, Brazil
  • 4Consultant, Global Science and Technology Inc., College Park, MD, USA
  • 5Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering & Earth Sciences, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN, USA

Abstract. Source functions for mechanically driven coarse mode sea spray and dust aerosol particles span orders of magnitude owing to a combination of physical sensitivity in the system and large measurement uncertainty. Outside of special idealized settings (such as wind tunnels), aerosol particle fluxes are largely inferred from a host of methods, including local eddy correlation, gradient methods, and dry-deposition methods. In all of these methods, it is difficult to relate point measurements from towers, ships, or aircraft to a general representative flux of aerosol particles. This difficulty is from the particles' inhomogeneous distribution due to multiple spatio-temporal scales of an evolving marine environment. We hypothesize that the current representation of a point-in situ measurement of sea spray or dust particles is a likely contributor to the unrealistic range of flux and concentration outcomes in the literature. This paper aims at helping the interpretation of field data: we conduct a series of high resolution, cloud-free large eddy simulations (LES) with Lagrangian particles to better understand the temporal evolution and volumetric variability of coarse to giant mode marine aerosol particles and their relationship to turbulent transport. The study begins by describing the Lagrangian LES model framework and simulates flux measurements that were made using numerical analogs to field practices such as the eddy-covariance method. Using these methods, turbulent flux sampling is quantified based on key features such as coherent structures within the MABL and aerosol particle size. We show that for an unstable atmospheric stability, the MABL exhibits large coherent eddy structures, and as a consequence, the flux measurement outcome becomes strongly tied to spatial length scales and relative sampling of cross- and stream-wise sampling. For example, through the use of ogive curves, a given sampling duration of a fixed numerical sampling instrument is found to capture 80 % of the aerosol flux given a sampling rate of zf / w* ~ 0.2, whereas a span-wise moving instrument results in a 95 % capture. These coherent structures and other canonical features contribute to the lack of convergence to the true aerosol vertical flux at any height. As expected, sampling all of the flow features results in a statistically robust flux signal. Analysis of a neutral boundary layer configuration results in a lower predictive range due to weak or no vertical roll structures compared to the unstable boundary layer setting. Finally, we take the results of each approach and compare their surface flux variability: a baseline metric used in regional and global aerosol models.

Hyungwon John Park et al.

Status: open (until 17 Oct 2022)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on amt-2022-231', Anonymous Referee #2, 12 Sep 2022 reply
  • RC2: 'Comment on amt-2022-231', Anonymous Referee #1, 01 Oct 2022 reply

Hyungwon John Park et al.

Hyungwon John Park et al.


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Short summary
We use numerical models to study the field measurements of sea spray aerosol particles, and conclude that both the atmospheric state and the methods of instrument sampling are causes for the variation in the production rate of aerosol particles: a critical metric to learn the aerosol's effect on processes like cloud physics and radiation. This work helps field observationalists improve their experimental design and interpretation of measurements because of turbulence in the atmosphere.