Comparative study of ultrafine atmospheric aerosol within a city

I. Salma, T. Borsós, Z. Németh, T. Weidinger, P. Aalto, M. Kulmala

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Particle number size distributions in a mobility diameter range of 6-1000nm and size-resolved number concentrations were determined with a time resolution of 10min for a near-city background, city centre, street canyon and road tunnel environments in Budapest. Median N6-100 concentrations for the sites listed were 3.1×103, 9.3×103, 19.4×103 and 123×103cm-3, respectively. Contributions of the ultrafine (UF) particles (<100nm) to the total particle number for all locations were rather large (up to 86%), and do not seem to vary substantially in time. Diurnal variations of the mean N6-100 concentrations had different patterns for both the various urban sites, and for workdays and weekends. Nucleation strength factor (NSF) was introduced for the first time to quantify the relative importance of new particle formation with respect to all sources of UF particles. During the daytime in summer, nucleation in the near-city background was a major production process of UF particles with a daily mean relative contribution of 42%. In the city centre and street canyon, the daily mean relative contributions of nucleation to the UF particles were 30% and 23%, respectively. Median particle diameters for the background, city centre, street canyon and road tunnel environments were 61, 42, 35 and 42nm, respectively, so they were jointly influenced with the anthropogenic impact and aerosol ageing. Monthly mean frequency of new particle formation and growth events in the background seems somewhat larger, while it appears smaller for the street canyon in comparison to the city centre.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-161
Number of pages8
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014



  • Anthropogenic impact
  • Diurnal variation
  • Nucleation strength factor
  • Particle number concentration
  • Particle number size distribution
  • Urban environment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Atmospheric Science

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