DETECTION AND CHARACTERIZATION OF SURFACE-ACTIVE MATERIAL IN THE MARINE ATMOSPHERE
NAVAL RESEARCH LAB WASHINGTON DC
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Organic constituents of the marine atmosphere were collected on shallow trays exposed to onshore winds on the windward coast of the Island of Oahu. Upon addition of distilled water to the trays the collected materials formed monomolecular films on the water surface, and film pressure-vs-area curves for these films were determined at the field site. The monolayer studies indicated the presence of weakly surface-active organic compounds and hydrocarbons, as well as strongly adsorbed, highly polar species. Simultaneous collections of oceanic particulate matter were made with a high-volume air sampler using glass fiber filters. The organic material was extracted from the filters with chloroform and analyzed for specific fatty acids by gas chromatography. The ratios of the quantities of the principal fatty acids found in the air samples were similar to previously reported fatty acid ratios from sea surface samples which had been collected at the airsea interface. It was concluded that the ocean appears to be a major source of airborne organic matter. The implications of these data to sea fog and haze stabilization are discussed.
- Physical and Dynamic Oceanography