Observation of possible elemental sulfur in the marine atmosphere and speculation on its origin

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Samples obtained during research cruises in the North Atlantic and the North Pacific showed possible evidence of gas-phase elemental sulfur, S8. Though the sampling and analytical method are still untested for this sulfur species, these data represent the first suggestion that this sulfur species exists in the marine troposphere. Concentrations of S8 were ∼ 1 ng m-3 or less, though these measurements may represent a lower limit of the true ambient concentration. Though there are only few data, concentrations of elemental sulfur appear to be elevated near coastal or continental margins in the North Atlantic. Possible sources of elemental sulfur include direct vaporization during the sulfur processing, automotive emissions, geothermal emissions, and heterogeneous oxidation of reduced sulfur in cloud droplets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2701-2705
Number of pages5
JournalAtmospheric Environment Part A, General Topics
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1991



  • Elemental sulfur
  • marine atmosphere
  • sulfur emissions
  • sulfur oxidation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution

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