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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2016-12
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2016-12
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 08 Apr 2016

Submitted as: research article | 08 Apr 2016

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It has been under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT). The revised manuscript was not accepted.

Suitability of high-volume aerosol samplers for ultra-trace aerosol iron measurements in pristine air masses: blanks, recoveries and bugs

Holly Winton1, Andrew Bowie2,3, Melita Keywood4, Pier van der Merwe2, and Ross Edwards1 Holly Winton et al.
  • 1Physics and Astronomy, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia, 6102, Australia
  • 2Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems CRC, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania, 7001, Australia
  • 3Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, Hobart, 7004, Australia
  • 4CSIRO Ocean and Atmosphere Flagship, Aspendale, Victoria, 3195, Australia

Abstract. Atmospheric inputs of soluble iron (Fe) to the global ocean are an important factor determining marine primary productivity and nitrogen fixation. To investigate soluble aerosol Fe and fractional Fe solubility, marine aerosol sampling has been conducted from a number of platforms including aerosol towers, ship and buoy platforms. A number of these studies have used commercially available high-volume aerosol samplers to collect aerosols from large volumes of air. These samplers are attractive for sampling air from low Fe air masses since they can rapidly concentrate large volumes improving detection limits. Here we investigate the use of a high-volume sampler from the Cape Grim Baseline Air Pollution Station (CGBAPS), Tasmania, Australia to sample aerosol Fe from baseline Southern Ocean air-masses. The study followed the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standard for the sampling of ambient air using high-volume sampler, and the recommendations and protocols from GEOTRACES community for sampling, sample preparation and digestion of trace element aerosols. Analysis and inspection of exposure blank (one month exposure) filters for Fe, and other metals, revealed significant contamination resulting from passive deposition of local soil, plants and insects. The results of the study suggest that high-volume aerosol samplers may not be suitable for low concentration air masses over the Southern Ocean without some mechanism to hermetically seal the sampler when the baseline sampling criteria are not met.

Holly Winton et al.
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AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
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Interactive discussion
Status: closed
Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version Supplement - Supplement
Holly Winton et al.
Data sets

HR-ICP-MS soluble and total trace element data for blank Whatman 41 filters. V.H.L. Winton, A. Bowie, M. Keywood, P. van der Merwe, R. Edwards http://doi.org/10.4225/06/564AB348340D5

Holly Winton et al.
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Short summary
Aerosols containing iron have been investigated over the remote Southern Ocean to constrain iron budgets in surface waters and related biological production. Protocols for the sampling of ambient air were used to assess the suitability of high-volume aerosol samplers for aerosol iron studies in pristine air masses. Significant evidence of airborne insect and local soil contamination was detected in exposure blank filters. Suggestions for future aerosol iron sampling in clean air are provided.
Aerosols containing iron have been investigated over the remote Southern Ocean to constrain iron...
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