Measurements of organic species in air and seawater from the tropical Atlantic

J. Williams, R. Holzinger, V. Gros, X. Xu, E. Atlas, D. W.R. Wallace

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

103 Scopus citations


A West -East crossing of the Tropical Atlantic during Meteor cruise 55 included measurements of organic species within the atmospheric marine boundary layer and the upper ocean. Acetone, methanol, acetonitrile and DMS were measured between 10-0°N and 35°W-5°E, on either side of the ITCZ. Methanol and acetone concentrations were higher in the northern hemisphere, both in surface seawater and the atmosphere whereas acetonitrile and DMS showed no significant interhemispheric gradient. Three depth profiles from 0-200 m for these species were measured. Acetone, methanol, DMS and acetonitrile generally decreased with depth with the sharpest decrease in concentration in all profiles being found at the bottom of the mixed layer. The average air mixing ratios and surface seawater concentrations for the whole dataset are respectively: acetone 0.53 nmol/mol and 17.6 nmol/L; acetonitrile 0.11 nmol/mol and 6.19 nmol/L; methanol 0.89 mnol/mol and 118.4 nmol/L; and DMS 0.05 nmol/ mol and 1.66 nmol/L.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 16 2004


  • 0312 Atmospheric Composition and Structure: Air/sea constituent fluxes (3339, 4504)
  • 0365 Atmospheric Composition and Structure: Troposphere - Composition and chemistry
  • 1610 Global Change: Atmosphere (0315, 0325)
  • 1635 Global Change: Oceans (4203)
  • 4850 Oceanography: Biological and Chemical: Organic marine chemistry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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