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Title: Chemical characteristics of cloud water and the impacts on aerosol properties at a subtropical mountain site in Hong Kong SAR
Authors: Li, T 
Wang, Z
Wang, YR 
Wu, C 
Liang, YH 
Xia, M 
Yu, C 
Yun, H 
Wang, WH 
Wang, Y 
Guo, J
Herrmann, H
Wang, T 
Issue Date: 2020
Source: Atmospheric chemistry and physics, 13 Jan. 2020, v. 20, no. 1, p. 391-407
Abstract: To investigate the cloud water chemistry and the effects of cloud processing on aerosol properties, comprehensive field observations of cloud water, aerosols, and gas-phase species were conducted at a mountaintop site in Hong Kong SAR in October and November 2016. The chemical composition of cloud water including water-soluble ions, dissolved organic matter (DOM), carbonyl compounds (refer to aldehydes and acetone), carboxylic acids, and trace metals was quantified. The measured cloud water was very acidic with a mean pH of 3.63, as the ammonium (174 mu eq L-1) was insufficient for neutralizing the dominant sulfate (231 mu eq L-1) and nitrate (160 mu eq L-1). Substantial DOM (9.3 mgC L-1) was found in cloud water, with carbonyl compounds and carboxylic acids accounting for 18% and 6% in carbon molar concentrations, respectively. Different from previous observations, concentrations of methylglyoxal (19.1 mu M; mu M is equal to mu mol L-1) and glyoxal (6.72 mu M) were higher than that of formaldehyde (1.59 mu M). The partitioning of carbonyls between cloud water and the gas phase was also investigated. The measured aqueous fractions of dicarbonyls were comparable to the theoretical estimations, while significant aqueous-phase supersaturation was found for less soluble monocarbonyls. Both organics and sulfate were significantly produced in cloud water, and the aqueous formation of organics was more enhanced by photochemistry and under less acidic conditions. Moreover, elevated sulfate and organics were measured in the cloud-processed aerosols, and they were expected to contribute largely to the increase in droplet-mode aerosol mass fraction. This study demonstrates the significant role of clouds in altering the chemical compositions and physical properties of aerosols via scavenging and aqueous chemical processing, providing valuable information about gas-cloud-aerosol interactions in subtropical and coastal regions.
Publisher: Copernicus GmbH
Journal: Atmospheric chemistry and physics 
ISSN: 1680-7316
EISSN: 1680-7324
DOI: 10.5194/acp-20-391-2020
Rights: © Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (
The following publication Li, T., Wang, Z., Wang, Y., Wu, C., Liang, Y., Xia, M., Yu, C., Yun, H., Wang, W., Wang, Y., Guo, J., Herrmann, H., and Wang, T.: Chemical characteristics of cloud water and the impacts on aerosol properties at a subtropical mountain site in Hong Kong SAR, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 20, 391–407 is available at
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