Two elevated particle number/mass growth events associated with Aitken‐mode particles were observed during a sampling campaign (13–29 September 2004) at the Duke University Free‐Air CO2 Enrichment facility, a forested field site located in suburban central North Carolina. Aerosol growth rates between 1.2 and 4.9 nm hr−1 were observed, resulting in net increases in geometric mean diameter of 21 and 37 nm during events. Growth was dominated by addition of oxidized organic compounds. Campaign‐average aerosol mass concentrations measured by an Aerodyne quadrupole aerosol mass spectrometer (Q‐AMS) were 1.9 ± 1.6 (σ), 1.6 ± 1.9, 0.1 ± 0.1, and 0.4 ± 0.4 μg m−3 for organic mass (OM), sulfate, nitrate, and ammonium, respectively. These values represent 47%, 40%, 3%, and 10%, respectively, of the measured submicron aerosol mass. Based on Q‐AMS spectra, OM was apportioned to hydrocarbon‐like organic aerosol (HOA, likely representing primary organic aerosol) and two types of oxidized organic aerosol (OOA‐1 and OOA‐2), which constituted on average 6%, 58%, and 36%, respectively, of the apportioned OM. OOA‐1 probably represents aged, regional secondary organic aerosol (SOA), while OOA‐2 likely reflects less aged SOA. Organic aerosol characteristics associated with the events are compared to the campaign averages. Particularly in one event, the contribution of OOA‐2 to overall OM levels was enhanced, indicating the likelihood of less aged SOA formation. Statistical analyses investigate the relationships between HOA, OOA‐1, OOA‐2, other aerosol components, gas‐phase species, and meteorological data during the campaign and individual events. No single variable clearly controls the occurrence of a particle growth event.


Earth Systems Research Center

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Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres


American Geophysical Union (AGU)

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©2010. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.


This is an article published by AGU in Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres in 2010, available online: