Airborne survey of trace gases and aerosols over the Southern Baltic Sea: from clean marine boundary layer to shipping corridor effect

Andreas.Herber [ at ]


The influence of shipping on air quality over the Southern Baltic Sea was investigated by characterizing the horizontal and vertical distribution of aerosols and trace gases using airborne measurements in the summer of 2015. Generally, continental and anthropogenic emissions affected the vertical distribution of atmospheric pollutants, leading to pronounced stratification in and above the marine boundary layer and controlling the aerosol extinction. Marine traffic along the shipping corridor “Kadet Fairway” in the Arkona Basin is shown to influence the presence and properties of both trace gases and aerosol particles in the lowest atmospheric layer. Total particle number concentration and NOy mixing ratio increased in the corridor plumes, relative to background, by a factor 1.55 and 3.45, respectively. Titration, triggered by the enhanced presence of nitrogen compounds, led to a median ozone depletion of 19% in the corridor plumes. The enforcement of the Sulphur Emission Control Area (SECA) might be responsible for the minor sulphur dioxide increase (20%) in the corridor plumes. Ship traffic caused a minor enhancement of black carbon mass concentration, estimated to be around 10%. The study of individual ship plumes indicated that ship emitted aerosol was substantially different from background aerosol: fresh ship exhaust was preferentially enriched in aerosol particles with diameters below 100nm and in black carbon particles with core diameters above 300-400nm. With the present work the impact of marine traffic on the concentration and properties of atmospheric components within the marine boundary layer over the open water of the Southern Baltic Sea is assessed with airborne observations for the first time. Due to the high uncertainty affecting the estimations of ship emissions, this dataset represents a valuable reference for the assessment of ship emission inventories and related environmental-climatic impacts on the Southern Baltic Sea.

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DOI 10.1080/16000889.2019.1695349

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Zanatta, M. , Bozem, H. , Köllner, F. , Schneider, J. , Kunkel, D. , Hoor, P. M. , de Faria, J. , Petzold, A. , Bundke, U. , Haydn, K. , Staebler, R. , Schulz, H. and Herber, A. (2020): Airborne survey of trace gases and aerosols over the Southern Baltic Sea: from clean marine boundary layer to shipping corridor effect , Tellus Series B-Chemical and Physical Meteorology, 72 (1), pp. 1-24 . doi: 10.1080/16000889.2019.1695349

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