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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  03 Jul 2020

03 Jul 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Concerted measurements of lipids in seawater and on submicron aerosol particles at the Cape Verde Islands: biogenic sources, selective transfer and high enrichments

Nadja Triesch1, Manuela van Pinxteren1, Sanja Frka2, Christian Stolle3,4, Tobias Spranger1, Erik Hans Hoffmann1, Xianda Gong1, Heike Wex1, Detlef Schulz-Bull3, Blaženka Gašparović2, and Hartmut Herrmann1 Nadja Triesch et al.
  • 1Leibniz-Institute for Tropospheric Research (TROPOS), Leipzig, 04318, Germany
  • 2Divisionfor Marine and Environmental Research, Rudjer Boskovic Institute, Zagreb, 100000, Croatia
  • 3Leibniz-Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemuende (IOW), Rostock, 18119, Germany
  • 4Institute for Chemistry and Biology of the Marine Environment (ICBM), Carl-von-Ossietzky University Oldenburg, Wilhelmshaven, 26382, Germany

Abstract. Measurements of lipids as representative species for different lipid classes in the marine environment have been performed to characterize their oceanic sources and their transfer from the ocean into the atmosphere to marine aerosol particles. To this end, a set of lipid classes (hydrocarbons (HC), fatty acid methyl esters (ME), free fatty acids (FFA), alcohols (ALC), 1,3-diacylglycerols (1,3 DG), 1,2-diacylglycerols (1,2 DG), monoacylglycerols (MG), wax esters (WE), triacylglycerols (TG), phospholipids (PP) including phosphatidylglycerols (PG), phosphatidylethanolamine (PE), phosphatidylcholines (PC), glycolipids (GL) including sulfoquinovosyldiacylglycerols (SQDG), monogalactosyl-diacylglycerols (MGDG), digalactosyldiacylglycerols (DGDG) and sterols (ST)) is investigated in both the dissolved and particulate fraction in seawater, differentiated between underlying water (ULW) and the sea surface microlayer (SML), and in ambient submicron aerosol particle samples (PM1) at the Cape Verde Atmospheric Observatory (CVAO) applying concerted measurements. The different lipids are found in all marine compartments but in different compositions. At this point, a certain variability is observed for the concentration of dissolved (∑DLULW: 39.8–128.5 μg L−1, ∑DLSML: 55.7–121.5 μg L−1) and particulate (∑PLULW: 36.4–93.5 μg L−1, ∑PLSML: 61.0–118.1 μg L−1) lipids in seawater of the tropical North Atlantic Ocean along the campaign. Only slight SML enrichments are observed for the lipids with an enrichment factor EFSML of 1.1–1.4 (DL) and 1.0–1.7 (PL). On PM1 aerosol particles, a total lipid concentration between 75.2–219.5 ng m−3 (averaged: 119.9 ng m−3) is measured with high atmospheric concentration of TG (averaged: 21.9 ng m−3) as a potential indicator for freshly emitted sea spray. Besides phytoplankton sources, bacteria influence the lipid concentrations in seawater and on the aerosol particles, so that the phytoplankton tracer (chlorophyll-a) cannot sufficiently explain the lipid abundance. The concentration and enrichment of lipids in the SML is not related to physicochemical properties describing the surface activity. For aerosol, however, the high enrichment of lipids (as a sum) corresponds well with the consideration of their high surface activity, thus the EFaer (enrichment factor on submicron aerosol particles compared to SML) ranges between 9 × 104–7 × 105. Regarding the single lipid groups on the aerosol particles, a weak relation between EFaer and lipophilicity (expressed by the KOW value) was identified, which was absent for the SML. However, overall simple physico-chemical descriptors are not sufficient to fully explain the transfer of lipids. As our findings show that additional processes such as formation and degradation influence the ocean-atmosphere transfer of both OM in general and of lipids in particular, they have to be considered in OM transfer models. Moreover, our data suggest that the extend of enrichment of lipid classes constituents on the aerosol particles might be related to the distribution of the lipid within the bubble-air-water-interface. Lipids, which are preferably arranged within the bubble interface, namely TG and ALC, are transferred to the aerosol particles to the highest extend. Finally, the connection between ice nucleation particles (INP) in seawater, which are active already at higher temperatures (−10 °C to −15 °C), and the lipid classes PE and FFA suggests that lipids formed in the ocean have the potential to contribute to (biogenic) INP activity when transferred to the atmosphere.

Nadja Triesch et al.

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Nadja Triesch et al.

Nadja Triesch et al.


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Publications Copernicus
Short summary
To investigate the source of lipids and their representatives in the marine atmosphere, concerted measurements of seawater and submicron aerosol particles samples were carried out on the Cape Verde islands. This field study describes the biogenic sources of lipids, their selective transfer from the ocean into the atmosphere and their enrichment as part of organic matter. A strong enrichment of the studied representatives of the lipid classes on submicron aerosol particles was observed.
To investigate the source of lipids and their representatives in the marine atmosphere,...