Contribution of Water-Soluble Organic Matter from Multiple Marine Geographic Eco-Regions to Aerosols around Antarctica

Rinaldi, M.; Paglione, M.; Decesari, S.; Harrison, R. M.; Beddows, D. C. S.; Ovadnevaite, J.; Ceburnis, D.; O'Dowd, C. D.; Simó, R.; Dall'Osto, M.
Environmental Science & Technology
We present shipborne measurements of size-resolved concentrations of aerosol components across ocean waters next to the Antarctic Peninsula, South Orkney Islands, and South Georgia Island, evidencing aerosol features associated with distinct eco-regions. Nonmethanesulfonic acid Water-Soluble Organic Matter (WSOM) represented 6–8% and 11–22% of the aerosol PM1 mass originated in open ocean (OO) and sea ice (SI) regions, respectively. Other major components included sea salt (86–88% OO, 24–27% SI), non sea salt sulfate (3–4% OO, 35–40% SI), and MSA (1–2% OO, 11–12% SI). The chemical composition of WSOM encompasses secondary organic components with diverse behaviors: while alkylamine concentrations were higher in SI air masses, oxalic acid showed higher concentrations in the open ocean air. Our online single-particle mass spectrometry data exclude a widespread source from sea bird colonies, while the secondary production of oxalic acid and sulfur-containing organic species via cloud processing is suggested. We claim that the potential impact of the sympagic planktonic ecosystem on aerosol composition has been overlooked in past studies, and multiple eco-regions act as distinct aerosol sources around Antarctica.
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