Sea spray aerosol in the Great Barrier Reef and the presence of non-volatile organics

Mallet, Marc, Cravigan, Luke, Miljevic, Branka, Vaattovaara, Petri, Deschaseaux, Elisabeth, Swan, Hilton, Jones, Graham, & Ristovski, Zoran (2016) Sea spray aerosol in the Great Barrier Reef and the presence of non-volatile organics. Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres. (In Press)

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Sea spray aerosol (SSA) particles produced from the ocean surface in regions of biological activity can vary greatly in size, number and composition and in their influence on cloud formation. Algal species such as phytoplankton can alter the SSA composition. Numerous studies have investigated nascent SSA properties, but all of these have focused on aerosol particles produced by seawater from non-coral related phytoplankton and in coastal regions. Bubble chamber experiments were performed with seawater samples taken from the reef flat around Heron Island in the Great Barrier Reef during winter 2011. Here we show that the SSA from these samples was comprised of an internal mixture of varying fractions of sea salt, semi-volatile organics as well as non-volatile (below 550°C) organics. A relatively constant volume fraction of semi-volatile organics of 10%-13% was observed while non-volatile organic volume fractions varied from 29%-49% for 60 nm SSA. SSA organic fractions were estimated to reduce the activation ratios of SSA to cloud condensation nuclei by up to 14% when compared with artificial sea salt. Additionally, a sea salt calibration was applied so that a compact Time-of-Flight Aerosol Mass Spectrometer could be used to quantify the contribution of sea salt to sub-micron SSA, which yielded organic volume fractions of 3%-6%. Overall, these results indicate a high fraction of organics associated with wintertime Aitken mode SSA generated from Great Barrier Reef seawater. Further work is required to fully distinguish any differences coral reefs have on SSA composition when compared to open oceans.

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ID Code: 96215
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Great Barrier Reef, sea spray aerosol, marine aerosol, clouds, cloud condensation nuclei
DOI: 10.1002/2016JD024966
ISSN: 2169-8996
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Chemistry, Physics & Mechanical Engineering
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Facilities: Science and Engineering Centre
Copyright Owner: 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Deposited On: 16 Jun 2016 22:30
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2016 05:35

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