Causes of seasonal and daily variations in aerosol sea-salt concentrations at a coastal Antarctic station

Hall, J.S.; Wolff, E.W.. 1998 Causes of seasonal and daily variations in aerosol sea-salt concentrations at a coastal Antarctic station. Atmospheric Environment, 32 (21). 3669-3677.

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Two years worth of daily aerosol data has been collected from Halley station, Antarctica, between February 1991 and February 1993. The seasonal cycle of sea-salt aerosol was found to peak during the winter months, with an annual mean of 162 ng m-3. Specific site characteristics are used to explain this relatively low value. The winter sea-salt source does not appear to be solely due to the presence of open water. Comparison of individual high salt concentration events in the data, with 3 hourly meteorological records, shows that sea-salt loadings are not linked to high wind speeds, but more moderate ones. The high sea-salt loadings are associated with a change in wind direction that opens up an area of water and then switches to bring sea-salt inland. It is hypothesised that the exposed areas of sea water, which are rapidly frozen in winter creating areas of local, freshly formed ice with a surface covering of concentrated brine, are the source of the winter sea-salt. Fractionation of the sea-salt component in individual high concentration events, is used to reinforce the theory that a surface skim of highly saline brine, on fresh ice, is the winter sea-salt source. The presence of frost flowers is thought to aid incorporation of sea-salt into the atmosphere. Implications for the interpretation of sea-salt data in ice cores are highlighted.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: BAS Programmes > Pre 2000 programme
ISSN: 13522310
Additional Keywords: sea-salt, aerosols, surface brine, Halley research base, ice cores
NORA Subject Terms: Chemistry
Date made live: 27 Nov 2013 11:13 +0 (UTC)

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