Accumulation mode aerosol, pockets of open cells, and particle nucleation in the remote subtropical Pacific marine boundary layer



[1] We analyze a marine boundary layer cloud field encountered during the second research flight of the second Dynamics and Chemistry of Marine Stratocumulus Experiment. The cloud field is distinguished by the presence of pockets of open cells. Differences between the pockets and the surrounding stratocumulus clouds are studied utilizing in situ and satellite data. The pockets are characterized as regions where cloud radar echo tops are unusually variable, accumulation mode aerosol concentrations are low, and Aitken mode particles with a mode diameter at 0.02 μm dominate aerosol number concentration. The Aitken mode particles are thought to be generated by a nucleation event which occurred within the marine boundary layer. The low accumulation mode concentrations associated with the pockets are proposed to be necessary for their maintenance.