Articles | Volume 11, issue 7
Research article
01 Apr 2011
Research article |  | 01 Apr 2011

On the potential contribution of open lead particle emissions to the central Arctic aerosol concentration

A. Held, I. M. Brooks, C. Leck, and M. Tjernström

Abstract. We present direct eddy covariance measurements of aerosol number fluxes, dominated by sub-50 nm particles, at the edge of an ice floe drifting in the central Arctic Ocean. The measurements were made during the ice-breaker borne ASCOS (Arctic Summer Cloud Ocean Study) expedition in August 2008 between 2°–10° W longitude and 87°–87.5° N latitude. The median aerosol transfer velocities over different surface types (open water leads, ice ridges, snow and ice surfaces) ranged from 0.27 to 0.68 mm s−1 during deposition-dominated episodes. Emission periods were observed more frequently over the open lead, while the snow behaved primarily as a deposition surface. Directly measured aerosol fluxes were compared with particle deposition parameterizations in order to estimate the emission flux from the observed net aerosol flux. Finally, the contribution of the open lead particle source to atmospheric variations in particle number concentration was evaluated and compared with the observed temporal evolution of particle number. The direct emission of aerosol particles from the open lead can explain only 5–10% of the observed particle number variation in the mixing layer close to the surface.

Final-revised paper