Rain-aerosol coupling in the tropical atmosphere of Southeast Asia: Distribution and scavenging ratios of major ionic species

Jun He, Rajasekhar Balasubramanian

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Both aerosol and rainwater samples were collected and analyzed for ionic species at a coastal site in Southeast Asia over a period of 9 months (January-September 2006) covering different monsoons. In general, the occurrence and distribution of ionic species showed a distinct seasonal variation in response to changes in air mass origins. Real-time physical characterization of aerosol particles during rain events showed changes in particle number distributions which were used to assess particle removal processes associated with precipitation, or scavenging. The mean scavenging coefficients for particles in the range 10-500 nm and 500-10 μm were 7. 0∈×∈10-5∈±∈2. 8∈×∈10-5 s-1 and 1. 9∈×∈10-4∈±∈1. 6∈×∈10-5 s-1, respectively. A critical analysis of the scavenging coefficients obtained from this study suggested that the wet removal of aerosol particles was greatly influenced by rain intensity, and was particle size-dependent as well. The scavenging ratios, another parameter used to characterize particle removal processes by precipitation, for NH4 +, Cl-, SO4 2-, and NO3 - were found to be higher than those of Na +, K+, and Ca2+ of oceanic and crustal origins. This enrichment implied that gaseous species NH3, HCl, and HNO 3 could also be washed out readily. These additional sources of ions in precipitation presumably counter-balanced the dilution effect caused by high total precipitation volume in the marine and tropical area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-220
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Atmospheric Chemistry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Aerosol composition
  • Rainwater composition
  • Scavenging coefficients
  • Scavenging ratios

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Atmospheric Science


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