Direct night-time ejection of particle-phase reduced biogenic sulfur compounds from the ocean to the atmosphere

TitleDirect night-time ejection of particle-phase reduced biogenic sulfur compounds from the ocean to the atmosphere
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsGaston C.J, Furutani H., Guazzotti S.A, Coffee K.R, Jung J., Uematsu M., Prather KA
JournalEnvironmental Science & Technology
Date Published2015/04
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0013-936X
Accession NumberWOS:000353610300010
Keywordsboundary-layer; elemental; mass-spectra; oxidation; phytoplankton; remote marine atmosphere; salt; sea spray aerosol; single particles; sulfide; sulfur

The influence of oceanic biological activity on sea spray aerosol composition, clouds, and climate remains poorly understood. The,emission of organic material arid gaseous dimethyl sulfide (DMS) from the ocean represents well-documented biogenic processes that influence particle chemistry in marine environments. However, the direct emission Of particle-phase biogenic sulfur from the ocean remains largely unexplored. Here we present measurements Of ocean,derived particles containing reduced sulfur, detected as elemental sulfur ions (e.g, S-32(+), S-64(2)+) in seven different marine environments using real-time, single particle mass spectrometry; these particles have not been detected outside of the marine environment. These reduced sulfur compounds were associated with primary marine particle types and wind speeds typically between 5 and 10 m/s suggesting that these particles themselves are a primary emission. In studies with measurements of seawater properties, chlorophyll-a and atmospheric DMS concentrations were typically elevated in these same locations suggesting a biogenic source for these sulfur-containing particles. Interestingly, these sulfur-containing particles only appeared at night, likely due to rapid photochemical destruction during the daytime, and comprised up to similar to 67% of the aerosol number fraction, particularly in the supermicrometer size range. These sulfur-containing particles were detected along the California coast, across the Pacific Ocean, and in the southern Indian Ocean suggesting that these particles represent a globally significant biogenic contribution to the marine aerosol burden.

Short TitleEnviron. Sci. Technol.
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