Oceans are known to be recipients of many pollutants, but also act as secondary sources to the atmosphere. While the ocean-air exchange of gas-phase pollutants has been well-studied, little work has focused on sea spray associated transport of pollutants. Therefore, oceans are often incorrectly assumed to be irreversible sinks for non-volatile pollutants. The overall goal of this project is to test the hypothesis that surface-active substances can be efficiently transferred across the water-air interface during sea spray aerosol formation and that the efficiency of transfer is controlled by the substance’s physical-chemical properties as well as the water chemistry and climatic conditions. To do so, we will conduct both laboratory experiments, using a state-of-the-art sea spray simulation chamber, and field measurements in order to validate our findings.
Project start: 2017
Vetenskapsrådet (VR) and the Swedish Research Council Formas