Articles | Volume 9, issue 9
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 9, 4257–4267, 2016
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 9, 4257–4267, 2016

Research article 01 Sep 2016

Research article | 01 Sep 2016

A miniature Marine Aerosol Reference Tank (miniMART) as a compact breaking wave analogue

M. Dale Stokes1, Grant Deane1, Douglas B. Collins2, Christopher Cappa3, Timothy Bertram4, Abigail Dommer1, Steven Schill4, Sara Forestieri3, and Mathew Survilo3 M. Dale Stokes et al.
  • 1Marine Physical Laboratory, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA, USA
  • 2Dept. of Chemistry, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 3Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Davis, CA, USA
  • 4Dept. of Chemistry, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, USA

Abstract. In order to understand the processes governing the production of marine aerosols, repeatable, controlled methods for their generation are required. A new system, the miniature Marine Aerosol Reference Tank (miniMART), has been designed after the success of the original MART system, to approximate a small oceanic spilling breaker by producing an evolving bubble plume and surface foam patch. The smaller tank utilizes an intermittently plunging jet of water produced by a rotating water wheel, into an approximately 6 L reservoir to simulate bubble plume and foam formation and generate aerosols. This system produces bubble plumes characteristic of small whitecaps without the large external pump inherent in the original MART design. Without the pump it is possible to easily culture delicate planktonic and microbial communities in the bulk water during experiments while continuously producing aerosols for study. However, due to the reduced volume and smaller plunging jet, the absolute numbers of particles generated are approximately an order of magnitude less than in the original MART design.

Short summary
A small breaking wave and foam simulator has been fabricated that allows the continuous analysis of the produced marine aerosols. Based on the original Marine Aerosol Reference Tank (MART) the miniature version allows the culturing of delicate planktonic organisms because it operates without a large, sheer-inducing pump. This allows the study of marine aerosol production and the effects of biologically controlled seawater chemistry under controlled and repeatable experimental conditions.