Ammonia Surface-Atmosphere Exchange in the Arctic Marine Boundary Layer

Monday, 15 December 2014: 11:35 AM
Jennifer G Murphy1, Greg Wentworth1, Jean-Eric Tremblay2, Jonathan Gagnon2, Jean-Sebastien Côté2 and Isabelle Courchesne2, (1)University of Toronto, Chemistry, Toronto, ON, Canada, (2)Laval University, Biologie, Quebec City, QC, Canada
The net flux of ammonia between the ocean and the atmosphere is poorly known on global and regional scales. Data from high-latitude research cruises suggest that deposition from the atmosphere to the surface dominates, but the magnitude and drivers of this flux are not well understood. In the polar marine boundary layer, the surface may be composed of not only open ocean, but also first-year or multi-year sea ice which may be covered with meltponds. To characterize the air-sea exchange of ammonia in the polar marine boundary layer, data were collected aboard the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Amundsen between July 10 and Aug 14, 2014 in the Eastern Canadian Arctic. The Ambient Ion Monitor Ion Chromatograph was used to make hourly measurements of the mixing ratio of gas phase ammonia, and the water-soluble constituents of fine particle matter (PM2.5). Fluorometry was used to measure dissolved ammonium concentrations in the ocean between 0 and 20 m, and in low-salinity melt ponds encountered in regions of extensive sea ice. Observations indicate that the atmosphere contains higher levels of ammonia than are calculated to be in equilibrium with surface reservoirs, implying net deposition of ammonia from the atmosphere. While ammonium levels tended to be higher in melt ponds, the lower water temperatures still mean that these are unlikely to be sources of NH3 to the atmosphere. The disequilibrium between atmospheric and surface reservoirs of ammonia imply relatively large sources to the atmosphere (possibly nearby bird colonies) or high consumption rates in surface waters.