Air–sea fluxes of oxygenated volatile organic compounds across the Atlantic Ocean

M. Yang, R. Beale, P. Liss, M. Johnson, B. Blomquist, P. Nightingale

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We present air–sea fluxes of oxygenated volatile organics compounds (OVOCs) quantified by eddy covariance (EC) during the Atlantic Meridional Transect cruise in 2012. Measurements of acetone, acetaldehyde, and methanol in air as well as in water were made in several different oceanic provinces and over a wide range of wind speeds (1–18 m s−1). The ocean appears to be a net sink for acetone in the higher latitudes of the North Atlantic but a source in the subtropics. In the South Atlantic, seawater acetone was near saturation relative to the atmosphere, resulting in essentially zero net flux. For acetaldehyde, the two-layer model predicts a small oceanic emission, which was not well resolved by the EC method. Chemical enhancement of air–sea acetaldehyde exchange due to aqueous hydration appears to be minor. The deposition velocity of methanol correlates linearly with the transfer velocity of sensible heat, confirming predominant airside control. We examine the relationships between the OVOC concentrations in air as well as in water, and quantify the gross emission and deposition fluxes of these gases.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7499-7517
Number of pages19
JournalAtmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jul 2014

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