Vertical profiles of giant particles close above the sea surface



Size distributions of giant sea-spray particles (10-100 μm diameter) were measured in the North Atlantic with an impaction method, at heights of 0.2, 0.5, 1, 2, 4, 6 and 11 m above instantaneous sea level. The vertical distributions of the particle concentrations show as characteristic features a minimum at 0.5 m at low winds, and at higher winds a maximum at 1-2 m. The windspeed dependence of particle concentrations is a function of both particle diameter and height above sea level. The results are explained by a qualitative model based on literature data on the production of sea-spray particles and on turbulent wind structure over water waves.