Mediterranean nascent sea spray organic aerosol and relationships with seawater biogeochemistry

Evelyn Freney, Karine Sellegri, Alessia Nicosia, Leah R. Williams, Matteo Rinaldi, Jonathan T. Trueblood, André S.H. Prévôt, Melilotus Thyssen, Gérald Grégori, Nils Haëntjens, Julie DInasquet, Ingrid Obernosterer, France Van Wambeke, Anja Engel, Birthe Zäncker, Karine Desboeufs, Eija Asmi, Hilkka Timonen, Cécile Guieu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The organic mass fraction from sea spray aerosol (SSA) is currently a subject of intense research. The majority of this research is dedicated to measurements in ambient air. However a number of studies have recently started to focus on nascent sea spray aerosol. This work presents measurements collected during a 5-week cruise in May and June 2017 in the central and western Mediterranean Sea, an oligotrophic marine region with low phytoplankton biomass. Surface seawater was continuously pumped into a bubble-bursting apparatus to generate nascent sea spray aerosol. Size distributions were measured with a differential mobility particle sizer (DMPS). Chemical characterization of the submicron aerosol was performed with a time-of-flight aerosol chemical speciation monitor (ToF-ACSM) operating with 10min time resolution and with filter-based chemical analysis on a daily basis. Using positive matrix factorization analysis, the ToF-ACSM non-refractory organic matter (OMNR) was separated into four different organic aerosol types, identified as primary OA (POANR), oxidized OA (OOANR), methanesulfonic acid type OA (MSA-OANR), and mixed OA (MOANR). In parallel, surface seawater biogeochemical properties were monitored providing information on phytoplankton cell abundance and seawater particulate organic carbon (1h time resolution) and seawater surface microlayer (SML) dissolved organic carbon (DOC) (on a daily basis). Statistically robust correlations (for n>500) were found between MOANR and nanophytoplankton cell abundance, as well as between POANR, OOANR, and particulate organic carbon (POC). Parameterizations of the contributions of different types of organics to the submicron nascent sea spray aerosol are proposed as a function of the seawater biogeochemical properties for use in models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10625-10641
Number of pages17
JournalAtmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jul 14 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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