The importance of blowing snow to halogen-containing aerosol in coastal Antarctica: influence of source region versus wind speed

Giordano, Michael R.; Kalnajs, Lars E.; Goetz, J. Douglas; Avery, Anita M.; Katz, Erin; May, Nathaniel W.; Leemon, Anna; Mattson, Claire; Pratt, Kerri A.; DeCarlo, Peter F.

A fundamental understanding of the processes that control Antarctic aerosols is necessary in determining the aerosol impacts on climate-relevant processes from Antarctic ice cores to clouds. The first in situ observational online composition measurements by an aerosol mass spectrometer (AMS) of Antarctic aerosols were only recently performed during the Two-Season Ozone Depletion and Interaction with Aerosols Campaign (2ODIAC). 2ODIAC was deployed to sea ice on the Ross Sea near McMurdo Station over two field seasons: austral spring–summer 2014 and winter–spring 2015. The results presented here focus on the overall trends in aerosol composition primarily as functions of air masses and local meteorological conditions. The results suggest that the impact of long-range air mass back trajectories on either the absolute or relative concentrations of the aerosol constituents measured by (and inferred from) an AMS at a coastal location is small relative to the impact of local meteorology. However, when the data are parsed by wind speed, two observations become clear. First, a critical wind speed is required to loft snow from the surface, which, in turn, increases particle counts in all measured size bins. Second, elevated wind speeds showed increased aerosol chloride and sodium. Further inspection of the AMS data shows that the increased chloride concentrations have more of a “fast-vaporizing” nature than chloride measured at low wind speed. Also presented are the inline-formulaCl:Na ratios of snow samples and aerosol filter samples, as measured by ion chromatography, as well as non-chloride aerosol constituents measured by the AMS. Additionally, submicron aerosol iodine and bromine concentrations as functions of wind speed are also presented. The results presented here suggest that aerosol composition in coastal Antarctica is a strong function of wind speed and that the mechanisms determining aerosol composition are likely linked to blowing snow.

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Giordano, Michael R. / Kalnajs, Lars E. / Goetz, J. Douglas / et al: The importance of blowing snow to halogen-containing aerosol in coastal Antarctica: influence of source region versus wind speed. 2018. Copernicus Publications.

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