EGU21-13650, updated on 04 Mar 2021
EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

An Aitken mode aerosol formation event in the high Arctic: evidence for aggregate breakup

Michael Lawler1, Eric Saltzman1, Linn Karlsson2, Paul Zieger2, Matthew Salter2, Andrea Baccarini3, Julia Schmale4, and Caroline Leck5
Michael Lawler et al.
  • 1Department of Earth System Science, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, United States of America (
  • 2Department of Environmental Science, University of Stockholm, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 3Laboratory of Atmospheric Chemistry, Paul Scherrer Institute, VIlligen, Switzerland
  • 4Extreme Environments Research Laboratory, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland
  • 5Department of Meteorology, University of Stockholm, Stockholm, Sweden

The summertime high Arctic is an extremely low-aerosol region, where even small inputs of particles can have significant impacts on cloud formation and therefore on the surface energy budget. The relative importance of new particle formation from gas phase precursors and primary sea spray production in this region remains uncertain, as does the role of atmospheric transport. We made direct, time-resolved composition measurements of Aitken mode (~20-60 nm diameter) aerosol over the high Arctic pack ice in August-September 2018, including during an intense Aitken mode formation event on August 30-31. The event particles contained both primary sea spray materials (sodium, potassium, and polysaccharide-like organics) and secondary components (non-sea-salt sulfate, methanesulfonic acid, non-sea-salt iodine, and secondary organics), most of which could be quantified on the basis of analytical standards. The composition is consistent with primary sea spray that had been atmospherically processed, and the aerosol size distribution dynamics imply the action of a process by which larger atmospheric particles or aggregates broke up to form smaller particles. Hypotheses to explain the results will be discussed.

How to cite: Lawler, M., Saltzman, E., Karlsson, L., Zieger, P., Salter, M., Baccarini, A., Schmale, J., and Leck, C.: An Aitken mode aerosol formation event in the high Arctic: evidence for aggregate breakup, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-13650,, 2021.

Corresponding presentation materials formerly uploaded have been withdrawn.