The role of sea-salt emissions and heterogeneous chemistry in the air quality of polluted coastal areas
1National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Faculty of Physics, Dep. of Environmental Physics and Meteorology, Athens, Greece
2Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Patras, 26500 Patra, Greece
3School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, 311 Ferst Drive NW, Atlanta, GA 30332-0512, USA
Abstract. Open-ocean and surf-zone sea-salt aerosol (SSA) emissions algorithms are incorporated in the CAMx aerosol model and applied over an area with an extended Archipelago (Greece), with a fine grid nested over the highly populated Attica peninsula. The maximum indirect impact of SSA on PM10 mass (35%) is located over a marine area with moderate SSA production and elevated shipping emissions (central Aegean Sea) where SSA interacts with anthropogenic nitric acid forming sodium nitrate. SSA increases PM10 levels in the Athens city center up to 27% during stable onshore winds. Under such conditions both open-ocean and surf-zone mechanisms contribute to aerosol production over Attica. A hybrid scheme for gas-to-particle mass transfer is necessary for accurately simulating semi-volatile aerosol components when coarse SSA is included. Dynamically simulating mass transfer to the coarse particles leads to a quadrupling of predicted PM10 nitrate in the Athens city center and up to two orders of magnitude in its coarse mass in comparison to using a bulk equilibrium approach.