Articles | Volume 16, issue 17
Research article
14 Sep 2016
Research article |  | 14 Sep 2016

Isotopic constraints on the role of hypohalous acids in sulfate aerosol formation in the remote marine boundary layer

Qianjie Chen, Lei Geng, Johan A. Schmidt, Zhouqing Xie, Hui Kang, Jordi Dachs, Jihong Cole-Dai, Andrew J. Schauer, Madeline G. Camp, and Becky Alexander

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Cited articles

Alexander, B., Park, R. J., Jacob, D. J., Li, Q. B., Yantosca, R. M., Savarino, J., Lee, C. C. W., and Thiemens, M. H.: Sulfate formation in sea salt aerosols: Constraints from oxygen isotopes, J. Geophys. Res., 110, D10307,, 2005.
Alexander, B., Park, R. J., Jacob, D. J., and Gong, S.: Transition metal-catalyzed oxidation of atmospheric sulfur: global implications for the sulfur budget, J. Geophys. Res., 114, D02309,, 2009.
Alexander, B., Allman, D. J., Amos, H. M., Fairlie, T. D., Dachs, J., Hegg, D. A., and Sletten, R. S.: Isotopic constraints on the formation pathways of sulfate aerosol in the marine boundary layer of the subtropical northeast Atlantic Ocean, J. Geophys. Res., 117, D06304,, 2012.
Bao, H. M., Thiemens, M. H., Farquhar, J., Campbell, D. A., Lee, C. C. W., Heine, K., and Loope, D. B.: Anomalous 17O compositions in massive sulphate deposits on the Earth, Nature, 406, 176–178,, 2000.
Bates, T. S., Lamb, B. K., Guenther, A., Dignon, J., and Stoiber, R. E.: Sulfur emissions to the atmosphere from natural sources, J. Atmos. Chem., 14, 315–337,, 1992.
Short summary
The formation mechanisms of sulfate in the marine boundary layer are not well understood, which could result in large uncertainties in aerosol radiative forcing. We measure the oxygen isotopic composition (Δ17O) of sulfate collected in the MBL and analyze with a global transport model. Our results suggest that 33–50 % of MBL sulfate is formed via oxidation of S(IV) by hypohalous acids HOBr / HOCl in the aqueous phase, and the daily-mean HOBr/HOCl concentrations are on the order of 0.01–0.1 ppt.
Final-revised paper