Size distribution and new particle formation in subtropical eastern Australia

Hai Guo, Aijun Ding, Lidia Morawska, Congrong He, Godwin Ayoko, Yok Sheung Li, Wing Tat Hung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Environmental context. Atmospheric submicrometre particles have a significant impact on human health, visibility impairment, acid deposition and global climate. This study aims to understand the size distribution of submicrometre particles and new particle formation in eastern Australia and the results indicate that photochemical reactions of airborne pollutants are the main mechanism of new particle formation. The findings will contribute to a better understanding of the effects of aerosols on climate and the reduction of submicrometre particles in the atmosphere. Abstract. An intensive measurement campaign of particle concentrations, nitrogen oxides and meteorological parameters was conducted at a rural site in subtropical eastern Australia during September 2006. The aim of this work was to develop an understanding of the formation and growth processes of atmospheric aerosols, and the size distributions under various meteorological conditions. In order to achieve this, the origins of air arriving at the site were explored using back trajectories cluster analysis and the diurnal patterns of particle number concentration and size distribution for the classified air masses were investigated. The study showed that the photochemical formation of nucleation mode particles and their consequent growth was often observed. Furthermore, the nucleation mode usually dominated the size distribution and concentration of the photochemical event in the first 34 h with a geometric mean diameter of 26.9 nm and a geometric standard deviation of 1.28. The average particle growth rate was estimated to be 1.6 nm h-1, which is lower than that observed at urban sites, but comparable to the values reported in clean environments. The potential precursors of the photochemical events are also discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)382-390
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Chemistry
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 29 Dec 2008


  • Back trajectory
  • Particle growth rate
  • Particle size distribution
  • Photochemical event.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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