Enrichment of Saccharides and Divalent Cations in Sea Spray Aerosol During Two Phytoplankton Blooms

TitleEnrichment of Saccharides and Divalent Cations in Sea Spray Aerosol During Two Phytoplankton Blooms
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsJayarathne, T, Sultana, CM, Lee, C, Malfatti, F, Cox, JL, Pendergraft, MA, Moore, KA, Azam, F, Tivanski, AV, Cappa, CD, Bertram, TH, Grassian, VH, Prather, KA, Stone, EA
JournalEnvironmental Science & Technology
Date PublishedNov 01
ISBN Number1520-5851 (Electronic)<br/>0013-936X (Linking)
Keywords*Cations, Divalent, *Phytoplankton, Aerosols, Air Pollutants, Oceans and Seas, Particle Size, Particulate Matter, Seawater

Sea spray aerosol (SSA) is a globally important source of particulate matter. A mesocosm study was performed to determine the relative enrichment of saccharides and inorganic ions in nascent fine (PM2.5) and coarse (PM10-2.5) SSA and the sea surface microlayer (SSML) relative to bulk seawater. Saccharides comprise a significant fraction of organic matter in fine and coarse SSA (11 and 27%, respectively). Relative to sodium, individual saccharides were enriched 14-1314-fold in fine SSA, 3-138-fold in coarse SSA, but only up to 1.0-16.2-fold in SSML. Enrichments in SSML were attributed to rising bubbles that scavenge surface-active species from seawater, while further enrichment in fine SSA likely derives from bubble films. Mean enrichment factors for major ions demonstrated significant enrichment in fine SSA for potassium (1.3), magnesium (1.4), and calcium (1.7), likely because of their interactions with organic matter. Consequently, fine SSA develops a salt profile significantly different from that of seawater. Maximal enrichments of saccharides and ions coincided with the second of two phytoplankton blooms, signifying the influence of ocean biology on selective mass transfer across the ocean-air interface.