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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2019-213
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2019-213
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 08 Jul 2019

Submitted as: research article | 08 Jul 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of this manuscript was accepted for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT) and is expected to appear here in due course.

Development of the DRoplet Ice Nuclei Counter Zürich (DRINCZ): Validation and application to field collected snow samples

Robert O. David1,a, Maria Cascajo Castresana1,2, Killian P. Brennan1, Michael Rösch1, Nora Els4, Julia Werz3, Vera Weichlinger1, Lin S. Boynton3, Sophie Bogler3, Nadine Borduas-Dedekind1,3, Claudia Marcolli1, and Zamin A. Kanji1 Robert O. David et al.
  • 1Institute of Atmospheric and Climate Science, ETH Zürich, Zürich, 8092, Switzerland
  • 2CIC nanoGUNE Consolider, Donostia-San Sebastian, 20018, Spain
  • 3Institute for Biogeochemistry and Pollutant Dynamics, ETH Zürich, Zürich, 8092, Switzerland
  • 4Institute of Ecology, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, 6020, Austria
  • anow at: Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo, Oslo, 0315, Norway

Abstract. Ice formation in the atmosphere is important for regulating cloud lifetime, Earth's radiative balance and initiating precipitation. Due to the difference in the saturation vapor pressure over ice and water, in mixed-phase clouds (MPCs), ice will grow at the expense of supercooled cloud droplets. As such, MPCs, which contain both supercooled liquid and ice, are particularly susceptible to ice formation. However, measuring and quantifying the concentration of ice nucleating particles (INPs) responsible for ice formation at temperatures associated with MPCs is challenging due to their very low concentrations in the atmosphere (~ 1 in 105 at − 30 °C). Atmospheric INP concentrations vary over several orders of magnitude at a single temperature and strongly increase as temperature approaches the homogeneous freezing threshold of water. To further quantify the INP concentration in nature and perform systematic laboratory studies to increase the understanding of the properties responsible for ice nucleation, a new drop freezing instrument, the DRoplet Ice Nuclei Counter Zurich (DRINCZ) is developed. The instrument is based on the design of previous drop freezing assays and uses a USB camera to automatically detect freezing in a 96-well tray cooled in an ethanol chilled bath with an automated analysis procedure. Based on an in-depth characterization of DRINCZ, we develop a new method for quantifying and correcting temperature biases across drop freezing assays. DRINCZ is further validated performing NX illite experiments, which compare well with the literature. The temperature uncertainty in DRINCZ was determined to be ± 0.9 ˚C. Furthermore, we demonstrate the applicability of DRINCZ by measuring and analyzing field collected snow samples during an evolving synoptic situation in the Austrian Alps. The field samples fall within previously observed ranges for cumulative INP concentrations and show a dependence on air mass origin and upstream precipitation amount.

Robert O. David et al.
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Interactive discussion
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Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
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Robert O. David et al.
Robert O. David et al.
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Short summary
Here we present the development and applicability of the Droplet Ice Nuclei Counter Zurich (DRINCZ). DRINCZ allows for ice nuclei in the immersion mode to be quantified between 0 and − 25 °C with an uncertainty of ± 0.9 °C. Furthermore, we present a new method for assessing biases in drop freezing apparatuses and cumulative ice nucleating particle concentrations from snow samples collected in the Austrian Alps at the Sonnblick Observatory.
Here we present the development and applicability of the Droplet Ice Nuclei Counter Zurich...
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