Eddy covariance flux of sulfur dioxide to the sea surface: Air-side resistance to deposition of a highly soluble gas

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Jack Porter1, Warren J De Bruyn2, Scott D Miller3 and Eric S Saltzman1, (1)University of California Irvine, Irvine, CA, United States, (2)Chapman Univ, Orange, CA, United States, (3)SUNY Albany, Albany, NY, United States
Deposition to the sea surface represents a major atmospheric removal mechanism for sulfur dioxide and many other highly soluble products of tropospheric photochemistry. Such gases include nitric acid, ammonia, organic acids, sulfur dioxide, and highly soluble organic compounds such as methanol and acetone. The deposition of highly soluble gases is controlled by turbulent and diffusive transport on the air side of the air/sea interface. In this study, air/sea fluxes of the soluble gas sulfur dioxide (SO2 ), sensible and latent heat, and momentum were measured using eddy covariance. This was a pilot study carried out in April 2014 on Scripps pier in La Jolla, California, that was designed to assess the potential for measuring SO2 fluxes over the ocean. SO2 was detected using chemical ion mass spectrometry in negative ion mode with a sensitivity of roughly 100 Hz/ppt. The ionization scheme involved addition of ozone to a dried air stream and subsequent conversion of SO2 to the SO5 - ion. The results demonstrate the feasibility of seagoing SO2 flux measurements. Such measurements can be used to constrain the depositional velocities of soluble gases and test models for air-side resistance to air/sea gas transfer.