NAAMES-III Expedition: September 6, 2017

September 9th, 2017 by Kristina Mojica

Sea Sweep gently surfs

Generating aerosol

On the Atlantic

While some aboard the Atlantis are fighting bubbles with rigor (see September 1, 2017 post), the atmospheric chemists on the bow of the ship are busy generating them. Not the same ones that the biologists were battling in the earlier post, but new ones that mimic the production of sea spray aerosol by waves in the ocean.

To do this, we deploy a clever aerosol generator alongside the ship that we call Sea Sweep. The Sea Sweep injects clean air into the surface layer of the ocean to create many bubbles that pop and produce sea spray aerosol. We suck that aerosol up to take a multitude of samples and measurements for both our own group and other researchers as part of the NAAMES project.

The NOAA/Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (PMEL) Sea Sweep on the port side of the R/V Atlantis during bubble/aerosol generation.

Last night, just as we were getting ready to take a subset of our samples, we noticed our aerosol counts drop dramatically (from ~1,000 down to 100..then down to 10!). Upon investigation, it turned out our air compressor had a broken belt. Alas, we did not have a spare one with us (you can be sure we will have at least two next cruise!). Thankfully, the ship was able to provide us with a suitable substitute and we were able to get back to generating our bubbles with only a little hiccup. We are very grateful to the crew of the R/V Atlantis!

Written by Lucia Upchurch and Derek Coffman

University of Washington Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean

NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory


One Response to “NAAMES-III Expedition: September 6, 2017”

  1. Janey Dustin says:

    Put together the mods of scientists and ship mechanic’s and “Bam” problem solved.

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Notes from the Field