National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 2007

Global sea-salt modeling: Results and validation against multicampaign shipboard measurements

Witek, M.L., P.J. Flatau, P.K. Quinn, and D.L. Westphal

J. Geophys. Res., 112, D08215, doi: 10.1029/2006JD007779 (2007)

Open-ocean measurements of sea-salt concentrations from five different campaigns are used to validate the sea-salt parameterization in numerical models. The data set is unique in that it is from open-ocean shipboard measurements which alleviates typical problems associated with onshore wave breaking on land stations (surf zone). The validity of the sea-salt parameterizations is tested by employing a global forecasting model and transport model with detailed representation of dry and wet deposition, advection and diffusion, and other physical processes. It is shown that the inclusion of these processes leads to good agreement with shipboard measurements. The correlation coefficient of measured and modeled sea-salt mass concentrations for all data points was 0.76 and varied from 0.55 to 0.84 for different experiments. Average sea-salt mass concentration was 4.6 µg/m3 from measurements and 7.3 µg/m3 from the model, for all considered experiments. It was found that model-measurements discrepancies were affected by wet deposition uncertainties but also suggested was the influence of source uncertainties in the strong wind-speed regime, lack of a wind-speed threshold for emission onset, and lack of size differentiation in applied deposition velocity. No apparent relationship between the water temperature and the measured sea-salt concentration was found in the analyzed data set.

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