Night-time enhanced atmospheric ion concentrations in the marine boundary layer
1Environmental Chemical Processes Laboratory, Department of Chemistry, University of Crete, 71003, Heraklion, Greece
2Department of Physics, P.O. Box 64, 00014 University of Helsinki, Finland
3Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology, Stockholm University, 10691 Stockholm, Sweden
4Navarino Environmental Observatory (NEO), Messinia, Greece
5Department of Physics and Atmospheric Science, Dalhousie University, Halifax, B3H 3J5, Canada
6Environment Canada, Toronto, M3H 5T4, Canada
Abstract. Measurements of atmospheric ions in the size range 0.8–42 nm were conducted at the environmental research station of the University of Crete at Finokalia from April 2008 to April 2009 in the frame of the EUCAARI project. Both positive and negative atmospheric ions were found to have a clear annual cycle, with minimum concentrations in summer. Their concentrations were found to vary with the prevailing meteorology and the abundance of aerosol particles in the atmosphere. High concentrations of ions were observed during new particle formation events. There were 53 nucleation events recorded. It was found that under certain atmospheric conditions enhanced ion concentrations can be observed during night. Overall, 39 night-time events were observed, all of them observed for the negatively charged particles while only 21 were observed for the positively charged particles. Night-time enhanced ion concentrations were more frequent during spring and autumn and no such events were recorded from July to September. A strong anti-correlation was found between air ion concentrations, especially at cluster sizes (1.25–1.66 nm), and condensation and coagulation sinks. Enhanced ion concentrations at night were found to be more frequent when air masses had traveled over the island of Crete, indicating possible association with local biogenic sources.