Nanoparticle events were observed 48 times in particle size distributions at Appledore Island during the International Consortium for Atmospheric Research on Transport and Transformation/Chemistry of Halogens on the Isles of Shoals (ICARTT/CHAiOS) field campaign from 2 July to 12 August of 2004. Eighteen of the nanoparticle events showed particle growth and occurred during mornings when peaks in mixing ratios of α‐ and β‐pinene and ozone made production of condensable products from photochemical oxidation probable. Many pollutants and other potential precursors for aerosol formation were also at elevated mixing ratios during these events, including NO, HNO3, NH3, HCl, propane, and several other volatile organic carbon compounds. There were no consistent changes in particle composition, although both submicron and supermicron particles included high maximum concentrations of methane sulfonate, sulfate, iodide, nitrate, and ammonium during these events. Nanoparticle growth continued over several hours with a nearly linear rate of increase of diameter with time. The observed nanoparticle growth rates varied from 3 to 13 nm h−1. Apparent nanoparticle aerosol mass fractions (yields) were estimated to range from less than 0.0005 to almost 1 using α‐ and β‐pinene as the presumed particle source. These apparent high aerosol mass fractions (yields) at low changes in aerosol mass are up to two orders of magnitude greater than predictions from extrapolated laboratory parameterizations and may provide a more accurate assessment of secondary organic aerosol formation for estimating the growth of nanoparticles in global models.


Earth Systems Research Center

Publication Date


Journal Title

Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres


American Geophysical Union (AGU)

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Document Type



©2007. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.


This is an article published by AGU in Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres in 2007, available online: