Sea spray fluxes from the southwest coast of the United Kingdom – dependence on wind speed and wave height

Yang, M, Norris, SJ, Bell, TG and Brooks, IM 2019 Sea spray fluxes from the southwest coast of the United Kingdom – dependence on wind speed and wave height. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 19 (24). 15271-15284.

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Fluxes of sea spray aerosols were measured with the eddy covariance technique from the Penlee Point Atmospheric Observatory (PPAO) on the southwest coast of the United Kingdom over several months from 2015 to 2017. Two different fast-responding aerosol instruments were employed: an ultra-fine condensation particle counter (CPC) that detects aerosols with a radius above ca. 1.5nm and a compact lightweight aerosol spectrometer probe (CLASP) that provides a size distribution between ca. 0.1 and 6µm. The measured sea spray emission fluxes essentially all originated from the shallow waters upwind, rather than from the surf zone/shore break. Fluxes from the CPC and from the CLASP (integrated over all sizes) were generally comparable, implying a reasonable closure in the aerosol number flux. Compared to most previous observations over the open ocean, at the same wind speed the mean sea spray number fluxesatPPAOaremuchgreater.Significantwaveheightand waveReynoldsnumbersexplainmorevariabilityinseaspray fluxes than wind speed does, implying that enhanced wave breaking resulting from shoaling in shallow coastal waters is a dominant control on sea spray emission. Comparisons between two different wind sectors (open water vs. fetchlimited Plymouth Sound) and between two sets of sea states (growing vs. falling seas) further confirm the importance of wave characteristics on sea spray fluxes. These results suggest that spatial variability in wave characteristics need to be takenintoaccountinpredictionsofcoastalseasprayproductions and also aerosol loading.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Correspondence:Mingxi Yang (
Divisions: Plymouth Marine Laboratory > National Capability categories > Long-term Multi-Centre ACSIS
Plymouth Marine Laboratory > Science Areas > Marine Biochemistry and Observations
Depositing User: S Hawkins
Date made live: 02 Jun 2020 14:39
Last Modified: 02 Jun 2020 14:39

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