11 Apr 2022
11 Apr 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

Effects of temperature and salinity on sea-spray-aerosol formation simulated with a bubble-generating chamber

Svetlana Sofieva1,2, Eija Asmi1, Nina S. Atanasova1,2, Aino E. Heikkinen3, Emeline Vidal4, Jonathan Duplissy5,6, Martin Romantschuk2, Rostislav Kouznetsov1,7, Jaakko Kukkonen1,8, Dennis H. Bamford2, Antti-Pekka Hyvärinen1, and Mikhail Sofiev1 Svetlana Sofieva et al.
  • 1Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, FI-00560, Finland
  • 2Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Helsinki, FI-00790, Finland
  • 3Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland, HiLIFE, University of Helsinki, FI-00014, Finland
  • 4CNRS, Univ. Bordeaux, Bordeaux INP, ICMCB, F-33600, Pessac Cedex, France
  • 5Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research (INAR), University of Helsinki, FI-00014, Finland
  • 6Helsinki Institute of Physics (HIP), FI-00014, Finland
  • 7Obukhov Institute for Atmospheric Physics, Moscow, Russia
  • 8Centre for Atmospheric and Climate Physics Research, and Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Hertfordshire; College Lane, Hatfield, AL10 9AB, UK

Abstract. A new bubble-generating glass chamber design with an extensive set of aerosol production experiments is presented. Compared to the experiments described in the literature, current setup is among the medium-sized installations allowing precise control over the air discharge, water temperature and salinity. The size and material of the chamber offer variety of applications due to its portability, measurement setup adjustability and sterilization option. The experiments have been conducted in a cylindrical bubbling tank of 10 l volume filled by ~30–40 % with water of controlled salt content and temperature and covered with a hermetic lid. The chamber was used to study the characteristics of the aerosols produced by bursting bubbles under different conditions. In line with previous findings, the sea spray aerosol production was shown to depend linearly on the surface area covered by the bubbles, which in turn is a near-linear function of the air discharge through the water. Observed dependencies of the aerosol size spectra and particle fluxes on water salinity and temperature, being qualitatively comparable with the previous experiments, substantially refined the existing parameterizations. In particular, the bubble size was practically independent from the air discharge through the water body, except for very small flows. Also, the dependence of aerosol spectrum and amount on salinity was much weaker than suggested in some previous experiments. The temperature dependence, to the contrary, was significant and consistent, with a transition in the spectrum shape at ~10 °C. Theoretical analysis based on the basic conservation laws supported the main results of the experiments but also highlighted the need of better understanding of the aerosol production from a cold water surface.

Svetlana Sofieva et al.

Status: open (until 07 Jun 2022)

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Svetlana Sofieva et al.

Svetlana Sofieva et al.


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Short summary
Sea spray aerosols (SSA) emitted from ocean surface are a source of the global aerosols and significantly affect climate. A new bubble-generating glass chamber design with an extensive set of aerosol production experiments is presented to re-evaluate the SSA production as a function of water parameters: bubbling air flow, water salinity, and temperature. Our main findings suggest modest dependence of aerosol production on the water salinity and strong dependence on temperature below ~10 °C.