Different characteristics of new particle formation between urban and deciduous forest sites in Northern Japan during the summers of 2010–2011
To investigate new particle formation (NPF) events in urban and forest environments, number size distributions of ultrafine particles were measured at an urban site and a deciduous forest site in Sapporo, Northern Japan, during the summers of 2011 and 2010, respectively. The burst of nucleation mode particles at the urban site typically started in the morning (07:00–11:30 local time, LT) with simultaneous increases in SO 2 and O 3 concentrations and the UV index under clear (sunny) weather conditions. The growth rates of nucleated particles at the urban site ranged from 5.0 to 7.8 nm h −1 with an average of 6.3 ± 1.1 nm h −1. NPF events at the urban site were separated into events with or without subsequent particle growth after the burst of nucleation mode particles. This division was found to relate to prevailing wind direction because the subsequent growth of freshly nucleated particles typically occurred when wind direction shifted to northwesterly (from residential and public park areas), whereas it did not occur under southeasterly winds (from the downtown area). During the periods with NPF events, elevated concentrations of non-methane hydrocarbons (NMHC) were obtained under conditions of northwesterly winds when compared to southeasterly winds, whereas no difference in SO 2 levels was recorded. These results suggest that variations in NMHC concentration may play an important role in the growth of freshly nucleated particles at the urban site. The burst of nucleation mode particles at the forest site typically started around noon (10:30–14:30 LT), which was 3–4 h later than that at the urban site. Interestingly, at the forest site the burst of nucleation mode particles usually started when air masses originating from urban Sapporo arrived at the forest site. The present study indicates that the inflow of these urban air masses acted as a trigger for the initiation of the burst of nucleation mode particles in the deciduous forest.