The impact of marine surface organic enrichment on the measured hygroscopicity parameter of laboratory generated sea-spray aerosols

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Steven Schill, Gordon Novak, Kathryn Zimmermann and Timothy H Bertram, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA, United States
The ocean serves as a major source for atmospheric aerosol particles, yet the chemicophysical properties of sea spray aerosol to date are not well characterized. Understanding the transfer of organic compounds, present in the sea surface microlayer (SSML), to sea-spray particles and their resulting impact on cloud formation is important for predicting aerosol impact on climate in remote marine environments. Here, we present a series of laboratory experiments designed to probe the fractionation of select organic molecules during wave breaking. We use a representative set of organic mimics (e.g. sterols, sugars, lipids, proteins, fatty acids) to test a recent physically based model of organic enrichment in sea-spray aerosol [Burrows et al., 2014] that is based on Langmuir absorption equilibria. Experiments were conducted in the UCSD Marine Aerosol Reference Tank (MART) permitting accurate representation of wave breaking processes in the laboratory. We report kappa values for the resulting sea-spray aerosols and compare them to a predictions made using Kappa-Köhler Theory driven by a linear combination of the pure component kappa values. Hygroscopicity determinations made using the model systems are discussed within the context of measurements of CCN activity made using natural, coastal water.