Air-sea transfer of gas phase controlled compounds

Yang, M, Bell, TG, Blomquist, BW, Fairall, CW, Brooks, IM and Nightingale, PD 2016 Air-sea transfer of gas phase controlled compounds. IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science, 35 (1). 012011-012019.

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Gases in the atmosphere/ocean have solubility that spans several orders of magnitude. Resistance in the molecular sublayer on the waterside limits the air-sea exchange of sparingly soluble gases such as SF6 and CO2. In contrast, both aerodynamic and molecular diffusive resistances on the airside limit the exchange of highly soluble gases (as well as heat). Here we present direct measurements of air-sea methanol and acetone transfer from two open cruises: the Atlantic Meridional Transect in 2012 and the High Wind Gas Exchange Study in 2013. The transfer of the highly soluble methanol is essentially completely airside controlled, while the less soluble acetone is subject to both airside and waterside resistances. Both compounds were measured concurrently using a proton-transfer-reaction mass spectrometer, with their fluxes quantified by the eddy covariance method. Up to a wind speed of 15 m s-1, observed air-sea transfer velocities of these two gases are largely consistent with the expected near linear wind speed dependence. Measured acetone transfer velocity is ~30% lower than that of methanol, which is primarily due to the lower solubility of acetone. From this difference we estimate the "zero bubble" waterside transfer velocity, which agrees fairly well with interfacial gas transfer velocities predicted by the COARE model. At wind speeds above 15 m s-1, the transfer velocities of both compounds are lower than expected in the mean. Air-sea transfer of sensible heat (also airside controlled) also appears to be reduced at wind speeds over 20 m s-1. During these conditions, large waves and abundant whitecaps generate large amounts of sea spray, which is predicted to alter heat transfer and could also affect the air-sea exchange of soluble trace gases. We make an order of magnitude estimate for the impacts of sea spray on air-sea methanol transfer.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Subjects: Marine Sciences
Meteorology and Climatology
Divisions: Plymouth Marine Laboratory > Science Areas > Marine Biochemistry and Observations
Depositing User: Professor Philip Nightingale
Date made live: 10 Jun 2016 13:19
Last Modified: 25 Apr 2020 09:57

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