Sea salt concentrations across the European continent
TNO Bouw en Ondergrond
The oceans are a major source for particles that play an important role in many atmospheric processes. In Europe sea salt may contribute significantly to particulate matter concentrations. We have compiled sodium concentration data as a tracer for sea salt for 89 sites in Europe to provide more insight in the distribution of sea salt across Europe. The annual average sea salt concentrations above land were estimated to range between 0.3 and almost 13 μg m-3. Maximum concentrations are found at the Irish coast. At coastal sites along the Atlantic and North Sea coast concentrations tend to be around 5 μg m-3. More inland locations up to about 300 km away from the coast tend to show concentrations between 2 and 5 μg m-3, whereas sites further away from the coast are characterized by lower concentrations. An analysis of the representativity of the data with respect to a long term average showed that the long average is associated with a standard deviation of around 15%. The compilation of observations provides an improved overview of sea salt concentrations in Europe as well as an improved basis for model validation. Verification of the results of the LOTOS-EUROS model learned that the model represents well the spatial variability of the observed sea salt concentrations very well. However, the absolute concentrations are significantly overestimated due to large uncertainties in the emission and dry deposition parameterizations. Using the high explained variability in the gradients across Europe, the bias-corrected modelled distribution serves as a best estimate of the sea salt distribution across Europe for 2005. © 2010.
To reference this document use:
Atlantic Coast [Europe]
North Sea Coast [Germany]
Atmospheric Environment, 44 (20), 2434-2442