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Iodine-mediated coastal particle formation: an overview of the Reactive Halogens in the Marine Boundary Layer (RHaMBLe) Roscoff coastal study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • G. McFiggans
  • C. S. E. Bale
  • S. M. Ball
  • J. M. Beames
  • W. J. Bloss
  • L. J. Carpenter
  • J. Dorsey
  • R. Dunk
  • M. J. Flynn
  • K. L. Furneaux
  • M. W. Gallagher
  • D. E. Heard
  • A. M. Hollingsworth
  • K. Hornsby
  • T. Ingham
  • C. E. Jones
  • R. L. Jones
  • L. J. Kramer
  • J. M. Langridge
  • C. Leblanc
  • J. -P. LeCrane
  • J. D. Lee
  • R. J. Leigh
  • I. Longley
  • A. S. Mahajan
  • P. S. Monks
  • H. Oetjen
  • A. J. Orr-Ewing
  • J. M. C. Plane
  • P. Potin
  • A. J. L. Shillings
  • F. Thomas
  • R. von Glasow
  • R. Wada
  • L. K. Whalley
  • J. D. Whitehead
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2975-2999
Number of pages25
JournalAtmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Issue number6
DatePublished - 2010


This paper presents a summary of the measurements made during the heavily-instrumented Reactive Halogens in the Marine Boundary Layer (RHaMBLe) coastal study in Roscoff on the North West coast of France throughout September 2006. It was clearly demonstrated that iodine-mediated coastal particle formation occurs, driven by daytime low tide emission of molecular iodine, I-2, by macroalgal species fully or partially exposed by the receding waterline. Ultrafine particle concentrations strongly correlate with the rapidly recycled reactive iodine species, IO, produced at high concentrations following photolysis of I-2. The heterogeneous macroalgal I-2 sources lead to variable relative concentrations of iodine species observed by path-integrated and in situ measurement techniques.

Apparent particle emission fluxes were associated with an enhanced apparent depositional flux of ozone, consistent with both a direct O-3 deposition to macroalgae and involvement of O-3 in iodine photochemistry and subsequent particle formation below the measurement height. The magnitude of the particle formation events was observed to be greatest at the lowest tides with the highest concentrations of ultrafine particles growing to the largest sizes, probably by the condensation of anthropogenically-formed condensable material. At such sizes the particles should be able to act as cloud condensation nuclei at reasonable atmospheric supersaturations.



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