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Journal Articles Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Year : 2022

Mexican agricultural soil dust as a source of ice nucleating particles

Irma Gavilán
  • Function : Author
Consuelo Letechipía
  • Function : Author
Graciela B. Raga
  • Function : Author
Teresa Pi Puig
  • Function : Author
Violeta Mugica-Álvarez
  • Function : Author
Harry Alvarez-Ospina
  • Function : Author
Irma Rosas
  • Function : Author
Leticia Martinez
  • Function : Author
Eva Salinas
  • Function : Author
Erika T. Quintana
  • Function : Author
Daniel Rosas
  • Function : Author
Luis A. Ladino
  • Function : Author


Agricultural soil erosion, both mechanical and eolic, may impact cloud processes, as some aerosol particles are able to facilitate ice crystal formation. Given the large agricultural sector in Mexico, this study investigates the ice nucleating abilities of agricultural dust collected at different sites and generated in the laboratory. The immersion freezing mechanism of ice nucleation was simulated in the laboratory via the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) microorifice uniform deposit impactor (MOUDI) droplet freezing technique (DFT), i.e., UNAM-MOUDI-DFT. The results show that agricultural dust from the Mexican territory promote ice formation in the temperature range from −11.8 to −34.5 C, with ice nucleating particle (INP) concentrations between 0.11 and 41.8 L−1. Furthermore, aerosol samples generated in the laboratory are more efficient than those collected in the field, with T50 values (i.e., the temperature at which 50 % of the droplets freeze) higher by more than 2.9 C. Mineralogical analysis indicated a high concentration of feldspars, i.e., K-feldspar and plagioclase (>40 %), in most of the aerosol and soil samples, with K-feldspar significantly correlated with the T50 of particles with aerodynamic diameters between 1.8 and 3.2 µm. Similarly, the organic carbon (OC) was correlated with the ice nucleation efficiency of aerosol samples from 3.2 to 5.6 and from 1.0 to 1.8 µm. Finally, a decrease in INP efficiency after heating the samples at 300 C for 2 h indicates that the organic matter from agricultural soils plays a predominant role in the ice nucleating abilities of this type of aerosol sample.
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Dates and versions

insu-03749607 , version 1 (11-08-2022)





Diana L. Pereira, Irma Gavilán, Consuelo Letechipía, Graciela B. Raga, Teresa Pi Puig, et al.. Mexican agricultural soil dust as a source of ice nucleating particles. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 2022, 22, pp.6435-6447. ⟨10.5194/acp-22-6435-2022⟩. ⟨insu-03749607⟩
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