Volcanic sulphate and arctic dust plumes over the North Atlantic Ocean

Ovadnevaite, Jurgita
Ceburnis, Darius
Dupuy, Regis
Berresheim, Harald
O Dowd, Colin D.
Ovadnevaite, J., Ceburnis, D., Plauskaite-Sukiene, K., Modini, R., Dupuy, R., Rimselyte, I., et al. (2009). Volcanic sulphate and arctic dust plumes over the North Atlantic Ocean. Atmospheric Environment, 43(32), 4968-4974.
High time resolution aerosol mass spectrometry measurements were conducted during a field campaign at Mace Head Research Station, Ireland, in June 2007. Observations on one particular day of the campaign clearly indicated advection of aerosol from volcanoes and desert plains in Iceland which could be traced with NOAA Hysplit air mass back trajectories and satellite images. In conjunction with this event, elevated levels of sulphate and light absorbing particles were encountered at Mace Head. While sulphate concentration was continuously increasing, nitrate levels remained low indicating no significant contribution from anthropogenic pollutants. Sulphate concentration increased about 3.8 µg m-3 in comparison with the background conditions. Corresponding sulphur flux from volcanic emissions was estimated to about 0.3 TgS yr-1, suggesting that a large amount of sulphur released from Icelandic volcanoes may be distributed over distances larger than 1000 km. Overall, our results corroborate that transport of volcanogenic sulphate and dust particles can significantly change the chemical composition, size distribution, and optical properties of aerosol over the North Atlantic Ocean and should be considered accordingly by regional climate models.
Publisher DOI
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Ireland