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Volume 20, issue 1
Ann. Geophys., 20, 121–131, 2002
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-20-121-2002
© Author(s) 2002. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Ann. Geophys., 20, 121–131, 2002
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-20-121-2002
© Author(s) 2002. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  31 Jan 2002

31 Jan 2002

A sea spray generation function for fetch-limited conditions

J. Piazzola1, P. Forget2, and S. Despiau1 J. Piazzola et al.
  • 1LEPI, University of Toulon-Var, France)
  • 2LSEET, University of Toulon-Var, France
  • Correspondence to: J. Piazzola (piazzola@isitv.univ-tln.fr)

Abstract. This paper presents a sea spray generation function for aerosols produced by bubbles bursting that accounts for the effects of fetch. This is achieved by introducing a fetch-dependent model for the whitecap fraction, which is valid for fetch-limited conditions, i.e. steady-state conditions of the wave field in the whitecap droplet flux derived by Monahan et al. (1986). The aerosol generation fluxes calculated by this method show an enhancement of the aerosol production with increasing fetch. However, the predicted generation fluxes are lower than those calculated by using the classical model for the whitecap fraction proposed by Monahan and O’Muircheartaigh (1980). The results are then compared to aerosol size distributions measured in a Mediterranean coastal site at various fetch lengths. The data confirm the role of fetch, through its influence on marine aerosol generation and subsequent particle dispersion. The aerosol size distributions are divided into "fine" and "coarse" fractions. Submicrometer particles decrease in concentration at larger fetch, while the concentrations of super micron aerosols increase with increasing fetch.

Key words. Atmospheric composition and structure (aerosols and particles) Meteorology and atmospheric dynamics (waves and ties) Oceanography: physical (air-sea interactions)

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