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The composition of fragments of bubbles bursting at the ocean surface
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Meteorology.
2008 (English)In: Journal of geophysical research: Atmospheres, Vol. 113, no D11, D11209- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Air bubbles bursting on artificial seawater in laboratory experiments have been found to inject numerous particles <200 nm diameter into the atmosphere, some experiments showing copious production of particles as small as 10 nm. Some observations of the real marine aerosol support the presence of a large proportion of sea salt <200 nm diameter, while others suggest that it is absent, or nearly so. It is argued here that the observations showing its presence may be misinterpretations. If this is so, modification of currently accepted theories of particle injection into the atmosphere by bursting bubbles would be required. Highly surface active exopolymers produced by bacteria and algae, the microgels formed by them, and large concentrations of submicrometer particulates are known to be present in the ocean. Their possible influence on bubble formation, bubble bursting and particle injection into the atmosphere are discussed. Electron microscopy of individual particles at a number of sites supports the proposal that the exopolymers are involved in these processes. Ultraviolet light and acidification cause structural and chemical changes to exopolymers and their gels exposed to the atmosphere so that marine aerosol will have properties that change with atmospheric residence time.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 113, no D11, D11209- p.
National Category
Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-17612DOI: doi:10.1029/2007JD009078ISI: 000256811300002OAI: diva2:184133
Available from: 2009-01-22 Created: 2009-01-22 Last updated: 2011-01-10Bibliographically approved

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Leck, Caroline
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