Eddy covariance measurements of the sea spray aerosol flux over the open ocean



[1] Direct eddy covariance measurements of size-segregated sea spray aerosol fluxes over the open Atlantic Ocean are presented, along with a source function derived from them for a wind speed range of 4 to 18 m s−1 and a size range of 0.176 < R80 < 6.61 μm. This is in broad agreement with other recent estimates of the source function over this size range but shows a more rapid decrease with size above R80 = 2 μm than most other functions. The measurements were made during a 3 week cruise in the North Atlantic as part of the UK contribution to the international Surface Ocean–Lower Atmosphere Study (SOLAS) program. They utilized the new high-rate Compact Lightweight Aerosol Spectrometer Probe (CLASP), providing a 16-channel size spectrum (0.17 <Ramb < 9.5 μm) at 10 Hz, collocated with a sonic anemometer. The measurements demonstrate the high variability in sea spray aerosol flux compared with other air-sea fluxes, both between individual estimates and in the scales contributing to the flux.