Articles | Volume 23, issue 21
Research article
 | Highlight paper
03 Nov 2023
Research article | Highlight paper |  | 03 Nov 2023

Mechanisms controlling giant sea salt aerosol size distributions along a tropical orographic coastline

Katherine L. Ackerman, Alison D. Nugent, and Chung Taing

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Subject: Aerosols | Research Activity: Field Measurements | Altitude Range: Troposphere | Science Focus: Physics (physical properties and processes)
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Cited articles

Ackerman, K. and Nugent, A.: Sea Salt Aerosol Datasets, Zenodo [data set],, 2023. a
Andreas, E. L.: A new sea spray generation function for wind speeds up to 32 ms−1, J. Phys. Oceanogr., 28, 2175–2184, 1998. a, b
Andreas, E. L.: A review of the sea spray generation function for the open ocean, Adv. Fluid Mech. Ser., 33, 1–46, 2002. a
Andreas, E. L., Persson, P. O. G., and Hare, J. E.: A bulk turbulent air–sea flux algorithm for high-wind, spray conditions, J. Phys. Oceanogr., 38, 1581–1596, 2008. a
Anguelova, M. D. and Webster, F.: Whitecap coverage from satellite measurements: A first step toward modeling the variability of oceanic whitecaps, J. Geophys. Res.-Ocean., 111, C03017,, 2006. a
Executive editor
Giant CCN have long been recognised as highly important in warm marine clouds, as while these are low in number, they often dictate precipitation rates and thus many climate-important properties such as cloud optical thickness and lifetime. However, measuring these particles is remains challenging on a technical level and many models of their production are poorly constrained. This paper presents the results using a new methodology and goes on to explore the role of coastlines in enhancing wave breaking and thus giant CCN production.
Short summary
Sea salt aerosol is an important marine aerosol that may be produced in greater quantities in coastal regions than over the open ocean. This study observed these particles along the windward coastline of O'ahu, Hawai'i, to understand how wind and waves influence their production and dispersal. Overall, wave heights were the strongest variable correlated with changes in aerosol concentrations, while wind speeds played an important role in their horizontal dispersal and vertical mixing.
Final-revised paper