Ice-nucleating particle measurements at Storm Peak Laboratory (CO, USA)

Since October 2021, PINE monitors ice-nucleating particle concentrations in the Rocky Mountains. Being located at 3200 m a.s.l., the site frequently provides free-tropospheric sampling conditions in an atmospheric layer where mixed-phase clouds occur.
Storm Peak LaboratoryKIT/Larissa Lacher

The ambient concentrations and sources of ice-nucleating particles (INPs) in atmospheric layers where INPs can impact cloud microphysics are still unconstrained. During this long-term field campaign at Storm Peak Laboratory, Colorado, USA, we quantify INPs relevant for the formation of mixed-phase clouds. The site is operated by the Desert Research Institute (DRI) Division of Atmospheric Sciences (DAS).

As the station is a natural environment for the formation and occurrence of clouds, these measurements are suited to improve the knowledge about ice-forming particles in the lower free troposphere. Additional measurements on aerosol particle properties, such as aerosol particle size and chemistry, will allow to investigate potential sources of INPs.

INP concentrations are measured continuously using the Portable Ice Nucleation Experiment PINE. Weekly preliminary results can be found here.

This campaign is part of a DAAD PRIME funded project, in cooperation with Prof. Dan Cziczo and Dr. Karl Froyd.