UBC Theses and Dissertations
Ice nucleation on uncoated and coated atmospheric mineral dust particles Eastwood, Michael Logan
An optical microscope coupled to a flow cell was used to investigate ice nucleation on five atmospherically relevant mineral dusts at temperatures ranging from 233 to 247 K. Kaolinite and muscovite particles were found to be efficient ice nuclei in the deposition mode, requiring relative humidities with respect to ice (RHi) below 112% in order to initiate ice crystal formation. Quartz and calcite particles, by contrast, were poor ice nuclei, requiring relative humidities close to water saturation before ice crystals would form. Montmorillonite particles were efficient ice nuclei at temperatures below 241 K, but poor ice nuclei at higher temperatures. In several cases, there was a lack of quantitative agreement between these data and previously published work. This can be explained by several factors including mineral source, particle size, observation time and surface area available for nucleation. Heterogeneous nucleation rates (Jhet) were calculated from the onset data. Jhet values ranged from 60 to 1100 cm-²s-¹ for the five minerals studied. These values were then used to calculate contact angles (θ) for each mineral according to classical nucleation theory. The contact angles measured for kaolinite and muscovite ranged from 6 to 12º; for quartz and calcite the contact angles were much higher, ranging from 25 to 27º. The contact angles measured for montmorillonite were less than 15º at temperatures below 241 K, and above 20º at higher temperatures. The reported Jhet and θ values may allow for a more direct comparison between laboratory studies and can be used when modeling ice cloud formation in the atmosphere. The roles of H₂SO₄ and (NH4)₂SO₄ coatings on the ice nucleating properties of kaolinite were also investigated. Onset data was collected for H₂SO₄ coated and (NH4)₂SO₄ coated kaolinite particles at temperatures ranging from 233 to 247 K. In contrast to uncoated kaolinite particles, which were effective ice nuclei, H₂SO₄ coated particles were found to be poor ice nuclei, requiring relative humidities close to water saturation before nucleating ice at all temperatures studied. (NH4)₂SO₄ coated particles were poor ice nuclei at 245 K, but effective ice nuclei at 236 K.
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