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The immersion freezing behavior of mineral dust particles mixed with biological substances

By S. Augustin-Bauditz, H. Wex, C. Denjean and J. Schneider


Biological particles such as bacteria, fungal spores or pollen are known to be efficient ice nucleating particles. Their ability to nucleate ice is due to ice nucleation active macromolecules (INM). It has been suggested that these INM maintain their nucleating ability even when they are separated from their original carriers. This opens the possibility of an accumulation of such INM in e.g., soils, resulting in an internal mixture of mineral dust and INM. If particles from such soils which contain biological INM are then dispersed into the atmosphere due to wind erosion or agricultural processes, they could induce ice nucleation at temperatures typical for biological substances, i.e., above −20 up to almost 0 °C. To explore this hypothesis, we performed a measurement campaign within the research unit INUIT, where we investigated the ice nucleation behavior of mineral dust particles internally mixed with INM. Specifically, we mixed a pure mineral dust sample (illite-NX) with ice active biological material (birch pollen washing water) and quantified the immersion freezing behavior of the resulting particles utilizing the Leipzig Aerosol Cloud Interaction Simulator (LACIS). To characterize the mixing state of the generated aerosol we used different methods which will also be discussed. We found that internally mixed particles, containing ice active biological material, follow the ice nucleation behavior observed for the purely biological particles, i.e. freezing occurs at temperatures at which mineral dusts themselves are not yet ice active. It can be concluded that INM located on a mineral dust particle determine the freezing behavior of that particle

Publisher: 'Copernicus GmbH'
Year: 2015
DOI identifier: 10.5194/acpd-15-29639-2015
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Provided by: MPG.PuRe
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