Articles | Volume 8, issue 19
01 Oct 2008
 | 01 Oct 2008

The role of sea-salt emissions and heterogeneous chemistry in the air quality of polluted coastal areas

E. Athanasopoulou, M. Tombrou, S. N. Pandis, and A. G. Russell

Abstract. Open-ocean and surf-zone sea-salt aerosol (SSA) emission parameterizations are incorporated in the CAMx aerosol model and applied over an area with an extended Archipelago (Greece), with a fine grid nested over the highly populated Attica peninsula. The maximum indirect impact of SSA on PM10 mass (35%) is located over a marine area with moderate SSA production and elevated shipping emissions (central Aegean Sea) where SSA interacts with anthropogenic nitric acid forming sodium nitrate. SSA increases PM10 levels in the Athens city center up to 25% during stable onshore winds. Under such conditions both open-ocean and surf-zone mechanisms contribute to aerosol production over Attica. A hybrid scheme for gas-to-particle mass transfer is necessary for accurately simulating semi-volatile aerosol components when coarse SSA is included. Dynamically simulating mass transfer to the coarse particles leads to a quadrupling of predicted PM10 nitrate in the Athens city center and up to two orders of magnitude in its coarse mass in comparison to using a bulk equilibrium approach.

Final-revised paper