The particle formation and growth events observed at a semirural background site in Denmark were analyzed based on particle number size distribution data collected during the period from February 2005 to December 2010. The new particle formation (NPF) events have been classified visually in detail according to 3D daily plots in combination with an automatic routine. A clear seasonal variation was found in the way that events occurred more frequently during the warm season from May to September and especially in June. The mean values of the apparent 6 nm particle formation rates, the growth rate and the condensation sink were about 0.36 cm−3 s−1, 2.6 nm h−1, 4.3 × 10−3 s−1, respectively. A positive relationship of oxidation capacity (OX = O3 + NO2) of the atmosphere and the appearance of NPF events was found indicating that the oxidation of the atmosphere was linked to the formation of new particles. An analysis of a 3-day backward trajectories revealed that NW air masses from the North Sea were giving the highest probability of NPF events, namely between 20 and 40 %.
Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 2013, Vol 20, Issue 5, p. 3050-3059