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Biologically Induced Changes in the Partitioning of Submicron Particulates Between Bulk Seawater and the Sea Surface Microlayer
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  • Daniel Crocker,
  • Grant B Deane,
  • Ruochen Cao,
  • Mitchell D Santander,
  • Clare K Morris,
  • Brock Mitts,
  • Julie Dinasquet,
  • Sarah Amiri,
  • francesca malfatti,
  • Kimberly A Prather,
  • Mark H. Thiemens
Daniel Crocker
University of California, San Diego

Corresponding Author:dcrocker@ucsd.edu

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Grant B Deane
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
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Ruochen Cao
University of California-San Diego
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Mitchell D Santander
University of California San Diego
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Clare K Morris
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
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Brock Mitts
University of California, San Diego
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Julie Dinasquet
Scripps Institute of Oceanography
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Sarah Amiri
University of California-San Diego
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francesca malfatti
OGS
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Kimberly A Prather
University of California San Diego
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Mark H. Thiemens
University of California, San Diego
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Abstract

Studies over the last two decades have shown that submicron particulates (SMPs) can be transferred from the seawater into sea spray aerosol (SSA), potentially impacting SSA cloud seeding ability. This work reports the first concurrent bulk and sea surface microlayer (SSML) SMP (0.4‑1.0 µm) measurements, made during two mesocosm phytoplankton blooms in a region devoid of active wave breaking and bubble formation, providing insight into how biological and physicochemical processes influence seawater SMP distributions. Modal analyses of the SMP size distributions revealed contributions from multiple, biologically‑related particulate populations that were controlled by the microbial loop. With negligible bubble scavenging occurring, SSML enrichment of SMPs remained low throughout both experiments, suggesting this process is vital for SMP enrichment in the SSML. Because many biological SMPs can induce ice formation in SSA, our findings are discussed in the context of SMP transfer into SSA and its potential importance for SSA ice nucleation.
28 Jan 2022Published in Geophysical Research Letters volume 49 issue 2. 10.1029/2021GL094587