Scavenging of soluble trace gases by falling rain droplets in inhomogeneous atmosphere Academic Article uri icon


  • We analyze non-isothermal absorption of trace gases by the rain droplets with internal circulation which is caused by interfacial shear stresses. It is assumed that the concentration of soluble trace gases and temperature in the atmosphere varies in a vertical direction. The rate of scavenging of soluble trace gases by falling rain droplets is determined by solving heat and mass transfer equations. In the analysis we accounted for the accumulation of the absorbate in the bulk of the falling rain droplet. The problem is solved in the approximation of a thin concentration and temperature boundary layers in the droplet and in the surrounding air. We assumed that the bulk of a droplet, beyond the diffusion boundary layer, is completely mixed and concentration of the absorbate and temperature are homogeneous and time-dependent in the bulk. By combining the generalized similarity transformation method with Duhamel's theorem, the system of transient conjugate equations of convective diffusion and energy conservation for absorbate transport in liquid and gaseous phases with time-dependent boundary conditions is reduced to a system of linear convolution Volterra integral equations of the second kind which is solved numerically. Calculations are performed using available experimental data on concentration and temperature profiles in the atmosphere. It is shown than if concentration of a trace gas in the atmosphere is homogeneous and temperature in the atmosphere decreases with height, beginning from some altitude gas absorption is replaced by gas desorption. Neglecting temperature inhomogenity in the atmosphere described by adiabatic lapse rate leads to essential overestimation of the trace gas concentration in a droplet on the ground.

publication date

  • January 1, 2010