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Subproject 2.3

Oceanic export of organic matter: comprehensive data interpretation

The understanding of exchange processes between the ocean and the atmosphere is essential as the ocean covers 70% of the Earth. The ocean is an important source for organic matter that, besides sea salt, dominates marine aerosol mass and therefore influences aerosol properties. To study exchange processes between oceans and atmosphere regarding oceanic export, several concerted field campaigns were conducted within SOPRAN phase II. Marine aerosols and the corresponding seawater (bulkwater and the sea surface microlayer) were sampled at different field campaigns in the North and South Atlantic Ocean.

Main aim of SOPRAN phase III is a comprehensive interpretation of the analytical results regarding the organic content in different marine compartments. Special focus is on the investigation of atmospheric relevant organic substances, like aliphatic amines, carbohydrates and carbonyls in the marine compartments. Method development of certain organic species is an ongoing process. Detailed investigations of organic material in oceanic bulkwater, the sea surface microlayer, and in marine aerosols will help to reveal enrichment and depletion processes. Sources and transport pathways of organic compounds in the marine atmosphere will be further elucidated by combining the results of chemical analysis with meteorological parameters including solar radiation, wind speed and air mass origin via backward trajectories.

Exchange and discussion of results with different SOPRAN partners has stated. Synthesis will further be supported in a joint lab experiment at the facilities of the University of Heidelberg, where TROPOS will study marine aerosols in the Aeolotron.

Fig.1: The manifold interaction processes between the ocean and the atmosphere.

PI's: M. van Pinxteren, H. Herrmann
Contact: Manuela van Pinxteren (