Physicochemical Characterization of Coarse Lake Spray Aerosol Particle from Lake Michigan

Tuesday, 15 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Jessica L Axson and Andrew P Ault, University of Michigan Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor, MI, United States
Wave breaking across bodies of water releases coarse particles into the air which can impact climate and human health. Freshwater lakes, such as the Great Lakes, can generate lake spray aerosols (LSA), similarly to how sea spray is generated, during periods of high winds and wave action. This LSA has the potential to impact climate through direct and indirect effects (ie. scattering/absorption and cloud nucleation) and are suggested to impact human health via inhalation of these particles during algal bloom periods characterized by toxic cyanobacteria. Very few studies have been conducted to assess the physicochemical properties of freshwater LSA. Prior work in our lab included the construction and characterization of a laboratory based LSA generator. In this work, we examine laboratory generated aerosol particles from laboratory based freshwater standards, freshwater samples collected from Lake Michigan, and ambient particles collected during a wave event on the shores of Lake Michigan in the summer of 2015. Particle size distributions, number concentrations, and chemical composition are presented and discussed as a function of laboratory generated and ambient collected LSA. Results indicate that there are characteristic particles that represent LSA. This study represents the next step towards evaluating and understanding the potential for coarse LSA to impact climate and health in the Great Lakes region.