Physicochemical Characterization of Lake Spray Aerosol Generated from Great Lakes Water Samples

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Andrew P Ault1, Jessica L Axson1, Nathaniel May1 and Kerri Pratt2, (1)University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, United States, (2)University of Michigan Ann Arbor, Department of Chemistry and Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences, Ann Arbor, MI, United States
Wave breaking across bodies of water releases particles into the air which can impact climate and human health. Similar to sea spray aerosols formed through marine wave breaking, freshwater lakes generate lake spray aerosol (LSA). LSA can impact climate directly through scattering/absorption and indirectly through cloud nucleation. In addition, these LSA are suggested to impact human health through inhalation of these particles during algal bloom periods characterized by toxic cyanobacteria. Few studies have been conducted to assess the physical and chemical properties of freshwater LSA. Herein, we discuss constructing a LSA generation system and preliminary physical and chemical characterization of aerosol generated from water samples collected at various sites across Lake Erie, Lake Huron, Lake Superior, and Lake Michigan. Information on aerosol size distributions, number concentrations, and chemical composition will be discussed as a function of lake water blue-green algae concentration, dissolved organic carbon concentration, temperature, conductivity, and dissolved oxygen concentration. These studies represent a first step towards evaluating the potential for LSA to impact climate and health in the Great Lakes region.